From Regula, Degula to Super Stardom: A Timeline of Cardi B's Meteoric Rise to Fame

Cardi B went from reality television to chart-topping in record time

01 of 39

1992

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Instagram/ @iamcardib

Born Belcalis Almánzar in October 1992 to a Dominican father and Trinidadian mother, The Bronx, New York, native got her moniker after going by Bacardi (yes, like the rum) for some time. Her younger sister, Hennessy Carolina, also chose an alcohol-inspired nickname.

02 of 39

2011

Cardi B, Fashion
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for VH1

Cardi B started stripping when she was 19 years old (after getting fired from an Amish supermarket), keeping her decision to dance under wraps from her relatives for years.

While dancing, Cardi became an Internet sensation after her videotaped rants went viral on Vine and Instagram.

03 of 39

2015-2017

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VH1

Starting in 2015, Cardi B made waves as the "regula, degula, schmegula girl from The Bronx" on Love & Hip Hop New York, where her personality instantly made her a fan favorite. She had a hard time convincing other cast members that she had talent when it came to music, but always had faith that she would eventually make it.

Best known for saying things like, "If a b---- beef with me, we 'gon beef...foreva" and throwing a shoe at a rival, Cardi only appeared on the show for two seasons, but she is a Love & Hip Hop legend.

04 of 39

2017

American Music Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 09 Oct 2018
Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock

In June 2017, rumors began to circulate that Cardi B was seeing Migos rapper, Offset.

05 of 39

2017

Cardi B
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

When "Bodak Yellow" dropped in June 2017, no one could have predicted how quickly it would catapult Cardi B into the spotlight.

But catapult it did! The track became the song of the summer, and when it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in July of that year, Cardi made history as the first solo female rapper to hit the milestone since Lauryn Hill's did it with her 1998 hit, "Doo-Wop (That Thing)."

Cardi would go on to earn two Grammy nominations for best rap song and best rap performance for the hit.

06 of 39

2017

Cardi B, Fashion
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

Cardi B performed "Bodak Yellow" at the MTV VMAs pre-show, giving an iconic interview that made her a meme queen. She also presented a Moonman at the awards show. We were all watching Cardi's star on the rise.

07 of 39

2017

Rihanna's 3rd Annual Diamond Ball
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Cardi B stunned at Rihanna's Diamond Ball that fall. Scoring an invite to the exclusive event meant that Cardi was RiRi approved.

08 of 39

2017

Cardi B Alex Subers
Alex Subers/Instagram: @asubers

Offset proposed to Cardi B on stage during an October performance in Philadelphia, and Cardi accepted. Though as we'd later find out, the stars were already married at the time of the proposal, having previously tied the knot in an intimate ceremony with only Cardi's cousin as the witness.

09 of 39

2018

60th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Show
Theo Wargo/WireImage

They're out here drippin' in finesse! Cardi B collaborated with Bruno Mars on "Finesse," performing the single at the Grammys that year.

10 of 39

2018

2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards - Show
Rich Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Cardi B's fashion choices got the rumor mill churning as fans suspected that she was pregnant. Here she's pictured at the iHeart Radio Music Awards (accepting the award for best new artist) wearing a tulle skirt that had everyone talking.

11 of 39

2018

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In April, Cardi B dropped Invasion of Privacy, her first studio album, and the record debuted at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart. The album was highly anticipated, as fans speculated that Cardi would end up being a one-hit wonder.

12 of 39

2018

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Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

The day after Invasion of Privacy dropped, Cardi went on SNL and wordlessly revealed that she was pregnant while singing "Be Careful," a single off of the album, in a tight white dress.

13 of 39

2018

60th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Red Carpet
Kevin Mazur/Getty

Cardi absolutely proved the haters wrong as Invasion of Privacy broke all sorts of records.

She was the first woman to have three No. 1 singles on the Billboard chart, it was Apple's fifth most-streamed album of all time and the album had 100 million streams on Apple Music in its first week.

The rapper was also named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People.

Taraji P. Jenson wrote of Cardi, "When her mixtape came out, I thought, That's it. She found it! She's clear on her talent, and she's not trying to get in anybody else's lane. She recorded 'Bodak Yellow' because it's what she loved. Now she's the biggest thing in music. And even with all those eyeballs watching, she's still unapologetically herself. Cardi B's here to stay, baby, and I'm happy to be a witness."

14 of 39

2018

2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 3
Larry Busacca/Getty

Cardi didn't let pregnancy slow her down! She werked and twerked all over the stage at Coachella in April 2018. She was joined by special guests G-Eazy, Chance The Rapper, 21 Savage and Kehlani.

15 of 39

2018

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala
Cardi B at the 2018 Met Gala. Dia Dipasupil/WireImage

You know you've made it when you score an invite to the Met Gala. Cardi showed up to the May event with her husband Offset, dressed perfectly for the Heavenly Bodies theme.

16 of 39

2018

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Cardi B and Offset. John Parra/Telemundo/NBCU Photo Bank

Cardi B and Offset welcomed a baby girl, Kulture Kiari Cephus, into the world on July 10.

17 of 39

2018

2018 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Cardi B opened the MTV Video Music Awards in 2018, teasing fans with a baby reveal fake-out. She was nominated a whopping 12 times that year, taking home four Moonmen.

18 of 39

2018

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Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty; (2)

Cardi and rumored rival Nicki Minaj got into an altercation at the Harper's Bazaar September party after Cardi B alleged that Minaj was spreading lies about her. She was elbowed in the head by a security guard and allegedly threw a shoe at Minaj before being escorted out.

19 of 39

2018

Cardi B Strip Club Fracas, New York, USA - 01 Oct 2018
Mark Lennihan/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Cardi B was escorted out of a New York precinct after turning herself in for allegedly ordering an attack on two bartenders at a strip club in New York. Allegedly, Cardi believed that the women were sleeping with her husband, Offset. Cardi was charged with two misdemeanors, assault and reckless endangerment. In June 2019, she plead not guilty.

20 of 39

2018

2018 American Music Awards - Red Carpet
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images For dcp

But her drama with other A-Listers and legal woes didn't bother the rapper — Cardi continued to dominate the charts and the awards circuit, hitting the October American Music Awards to perform her next hit, "I Like It."

21 of 39

2018

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Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Cardi B announced on Instagram in early December 2018 that she and Offset were calling it quits. The decision to end things came after months of rumors that Offset was being unfaithful.

In an Instagram caption explaining her decision, Cardi wrote, "So everybody been bugging me and everything and you know, I've been trying to work things out with my baby father for a hot minute now and we've been really good friends and we know we're really good business partners. And he's always been somebody I run to, to talk to and we got a lot of love for each other but things just haven't been working out between us for a long time and it's nobody's fault. I guess we just grew out of love but we're not together anymore. I don't know it might take time to get a divorce. And I'm always going to have a lot of love for him because he is my daughter's father and, yea."

Offset's comment on the split was a somber, "Y'all won," directed at the fans.

22 of 39

2018

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Cardi B/Instagram

The same day that Cardi announced her split from Offset, she also let the world see her adorable daughter, Kulture, for the very first time.

23 of 39

2018

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Cardi B and Offset. Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

In an effort to win Cardi back, Offset interrupted her Rolling Loud Festival performance in Los Angeles with a cake that said "TAKE ME BACK CARDI." Fan reaction to the incident was mixed, with some supporting the couple and others thinking he was out of line.

24 of 39

2019

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Cardi B and Offset. Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

Evidently, Offset's tactics worked: Cardi took him back. The pair, here at the Grammys, are still together and even have tattoo tributes to one another.

25 of 39

2019

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Cardi landed the holy grail of pop stardom: a Pepsi commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.

26 of 39

2019

61st Annual Grammy Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 10 Feb 2019
Chelsea Lauren/REX/Shutterstock

Cardi B was nominated for five Grammys at the 2019 awards. She went home with the award for best rap album.

27 of 39

2019

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Cardi B. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty

She also performed her hit single, "Money," at the ceremony.

28 of 39

2019

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SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty

While dominating the tour circuit, Cardi broke yet another record, setting an all-time attendance record of 75,580 people at the Houston rodeo, beating out Garth Brooks.

29 of 39

2019

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01: Cardi B attends the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Cardi B was nominated for 21 (that's right, 2-1) Billboard Music Awards, the most of the night. She walked away with six statuettes.

30 of 39

2019

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Christopher Polk/Shutterstock

After being nominated for four MTV Video Music Awards, the rapper walked away with a Moon Person for Best Hip Hop Video for her hit song, "Money."

31 of 39

2019

Cardi B and Constance Wu
STX Films

Cardi channeled her past as a dancer and made her film debut alongside Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu in Hustlers.

Cardi said of the experience, "I couldn't believe I was on set for 16 hours. It's like, 'Is this what actors and actresses gotta go through?' "

She elaborated, "Artists, we have long days but it's just full of excitement. We move around, we doin' something. [Acting], you like, you gotta wait on the trailer until it's your turn. You gotta do the same scene 20 times."

Cardi told Ellen DeGeneres that she has another film in the works, so she must have enjoyed acting at least a little bit!

32 of 39

2019

Cardi B
MediaPunch/Shutterstock

After taking risk after risk with her fashion choices, Cardi B was asked to speak at Vogue's Forces of Fashion conference. In the lead up to the event, Cardi showed off look after look at Paris Fashion Week.

She said at the event: "I've worked so hard to be able to get to these shows. When it comes to the fashion industry, they don't care if you've got number one hits, all the awards, if you just ain't stylin' right, they just ain't gonna invite you to their shows, they just don't care. You've got to be into it and you've got to have a sense of style. It's something that you've got to prove. It's taken me years for me to prove it and I'm finally where I want to be."

33 of 39

2019

Cardi B, Baby Kulture, and Offset
Cardi B, Offset and Kulture. Cardi B/Instagram

Cardi was still touring up a storm, but she also took time to enjoy her sweet family. Here she is pictured with Kulture and Offset on a family vacation.

34 of 39

2019

Cardi B
Erika Goldring/FilmMagic

The singer was a mentor on Netflix's Rhythm + Flow, where she critiqued and coached aspiring rappers alongside T.I. and Chance the Rapper.

35 of 39

2020

Cardi B - WAP feat. Megan Thee Stallion [Official Music Video]
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion in the "WAP" music video. Cardi B/YouTube

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion released their "WAP" music video, with cameos from Kylie Jenner, Normani, Rubi Rose, Sukihana, Rosalía and Mulatto. The song debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

36 of 39

2020

Cardi B, Offset
Offset and Cardi B. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

By November, the couple called their divorce off and Cardi was honored with the woman of the year award at Billboard's annual Women in Music event.

37 of 39

2021

Cardi B
Dia Dipasupil/Getty

The star's 2017 single "Bodak Yellow" earned a RIAA diamond certification (10x platinum) in March, making her the first female rapper to reach the achievement.

38 of 39

2021

Cardi B BET Awards
Cardi B and Offset. Johnny Nunez/Getty

The rapper surprised her fans with news that her and Offset were expecting baby No. 2 during her performance at the BET Awards.

39 of 39

2021

Cardi B
Cardi B/Instagram

The couple announced the arrival of their second child on Instagram with a photo of the two looking lovingly at their new bundle of joy.

"9/4/21🦕💙🧸," Cardi captioned the sweet family photo.

"We are so overjoyed to finally meet our son," the couple said in a statement shared with PEOPLE. "He is already loved so much by family and friends and we can't wait to introduce him to his other siblings."

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