Meet the Adorable Little Girl Who Will Play Young Nicki Minaj on Her New TV Show

"I literally cried watching her taped audition. I demanded to meet her!"

Nicki Minaj
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Back in September, Nicki Minaj announced a new ABC Family (soon to be Freeform) show about her childhood in Queens, New York, and had an open casting call for the part of Young Nicki. 

On Friday, Nicki shared the news that the main parts have been cast, and naturally, she found the cutest little girl in the whole world to play her. "I literally cried watching her taped audition," Nicki wrote of Ariana Neal, who's also appeared in Fruitvale Station and Get Hard. "I demanded to meet her! Sat in a room with her teaching her how to rap by doing a beat on the table & forcing her to stay on beat! Lol. Then pulled out all the attitude she had in her lil body. Haha! She's tough! And so sweet & cute." To see the cuteness in action, please enjoy this 2011 video of Ariana covering Bruno Mars's "Grenade." 

In other casting news, Selita Ebanks (aka the phoenix from Kanye West's "Runaway" film) will play Nicki's mom Grace, while Whoopi Goldberg will guest-star as their neighbor Miss Martha. Nicki doesn't yet have a premiere date, but according to Nicki it will begin airing in 2016. 

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Eliza Thompson

I’m the senior entertainment editor at, which means my DVR is always 98 percent full. I love romance novels, bourbon, and canceling plans so I can watch Lost for the 50th time.