How Cardi B got her start and more surprising stats behind her success

The numbers don’t lie — Belcalis Almanzar, aka Cardi B, is killing it! The 25-year-old Afro-Latina rapper, and new mom to daughter Kulture Kiari (born in July), won three 2018 MTV Video Music Awards Monday. One of her triumphant wins included the trophy for Best New Artist. That’s right, Bardi Gang, your No. 1 girl is doing big things!

Cardi B attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Aug. 20 in New York City. (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Cardi forged her own path to the top, working as a stripper before making her mark as a reality TV star on Love and Hip Hop: New York. The self-described “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx first won fans with her swagger — now, it’s her “no-filter” social media presence and music that have everyone’s attention.

Last year, Cardi (aka Bacardi, Bardi B) topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her megahit “Bodak Yellow,” making her the first female rapper to do so since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo-Wop (That Thing)” in 1998. The rapper also bumped Beyoncé to become the first woman to have five top 10 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts in a single week. And remember when she dethroned Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” last year? And Taylor sent her flowers to congratulate her? Crazy, right?!

Cardi B performs on stage during Hot 107.9 Birthday Bash at Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood on June 16, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

She followed up that success by releasing her highly anticipated album Invasion of Privacy in April. It made history its first week by getting more than 100 million streams on Apple Music. It shattered the record for most first-week streams by a female artist. Guess who previously held the crown? Sorry Swift, Cardi did it again.

Her single “I Like it” featuring J Balvin and Bad Bunny skyrocketed to the top of the charts. The sexy Spanglish song gave Cardi her second Billboard Hot 100 No. 1. She’s the first female rapper to reach this milestone. She first reigned with her debut hit, “Bodak Yellow.” With more than 30 million Instagram followers, Cardi B knows it’s all thanks to her fans: “I can’t thank ya enough.”

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