A former protégé of Biggie Smalls, Lil' Kim went on to become a hip hop icon and one the world's most successful female rap stars. Thrown out of home as a teenager, she joined the Brooklyn crew Junior M.A.F.I.A. starring on their debut album Conspiracy (1995) and causing a stir as a tiny diva making up rhymes as ferocious as any of her tough-guy, gangsta rap colleagues. Her debut solo album Hard Core (1996) became a huge success, selling over 2 million copies and producing the hit singles Crush On You and Not Tonight but she was left distraught when her mentor Biggie was shot dead in 1997. Turning heads with her multi-coloured hair and outrageously skimpy outfits, she bounced back with the cathartic US top five albums The Notorious K.I.M. (2000) and La Bella Mafia (2003) and teamed up with Mya, Pink, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott on the Number 1 single Lady Marmalade. She also scored the Number 2 hit Magic Stick with 50 Cent, but was forced to serve 10 months in prison for perjury shortly after releasing fourth album The Naked Truth (2005) and hit single Lighters Up. Lil' Kim later competed in the TV show Dancing With The Stars and started a war of words with Nicki Minaj, but she still stands as one of hip hop's most glamorous, controversial and forthright female voices.