Kimberly Denise Jones (born 11 July 1974), better known by her stage name Lil' Kim, is an American rapper, model and actress. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, living much of her adolescent life on the streets after being expelled from her home. In her teenage years, Jones freestyle rapped, heavily influenced by actress/singer Diana Ross and fellow female hip hop artists like MC Lyte and The Lady of Rage. She got her career started when she met The Notorious B.I.G. and joined his group Junior M.A.F.I.A. in 1994, whose debut album Conspiracy generated three hit singles the following year.
Jones' 1996 debut studio album, Hard Core, was certified double platinum by the RIAA and spawned three consecutive No. 1 rap hits: "No Time", "Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)", and "Crush on You", the first for a female rapper. Her following albums, The Notorious K.I.M. in 2000 and La Bella Mafia in 2003, were certified platinum, making her the only female rapper besides Missy Elliott to have three platinum albums. In 2001, she was featured on the single "Lady Marmalade" alongside Mýa, Pink and Christina Aguilera which went to #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female rapper to reach the position on that chart. In addition, she won two MTV Video Music Awards, and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 44th Grammy Awards in 2002. In 2005, she served a yearlong prison sentence for lying to a jury about her friends' involvement in a shooting four years earlier. During her incarceration, her fourth album The Naked Truth was released. She returned to the public eye in 2009 with an appearance on Dancing with the Stars. She is yet to release her fifth studio album, although she has released three mixtapes since 2008.