Inside The Heartbreaking Death Of Nicki Minaj's Father

Nicki Minaj's 64-year-old father Robert Maraj has died. Maraj was reportedly the victim of a hit-and-run accident on Friday evening, when he was struck by a vehicle while walking along a road in Mineola, Long Island, New York. He was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and died on Saturday morning (via ABC-7 NY). 

New York's Nassau County Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the driver and any details regarding the incident (via TMZ). While Minaj has yet to make a public statement, the singer's reps have confirmed her father's death.

While photos Manaj posted on social media of her and her father seemed to indicate that the two had a good relationship, there were issues in the past. Ten years ago, Minaj told Details magazine that her father was allegedly abusive toward her mother. "He drank a lot and did drugs, and he would get violent when he did," she said (via Daily Mail). She also revealed that her father had set fire to their home. "He was attempting to kill my mother,” she told Details at the time. "She got out before it burned all the way down," she continued. "I've always had this female-empowerment thing in the back of my mind — because I wanted my mother to be stronger, and she couldn't be. I thought, 'If I'm successful, I can change her life.'"

Nicki Minaj gave birth to her son in September 2020

The news of her father's death comes just months after Nicki Minaj and her husband, Kenneth Petty, welcomed their baby boy — whose name they have yet to reveal to the world (via People). We do know that Minaj has a sweet nickname for her son, "Papa Bear."

Sharing a series of photos of her son on Instagram in January, she wrote, "#PapaBear, thank you so very much for choosing me to be your mama." She also revealed her feelings on being a new mom. "Becoming a mom is by far the most fulfilling job I've ever taken on," she wrote. "Sending love to all the superhero mothers out there. Big hugs to all the women who have been pregnant during this challenging time."