MINEOLA, N.Y. — The 64-year-old father of rapper Nicki Minaj has died after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in New York, police said.
Robert Maraj was walking along a road in Mineola on Long Island at 6:15 p.m. Friday when he was hit by a car that kept going, Nassau County police said. Maraj was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead Saturday.
Police are asking any witnesses to the fatal crash to come forward.
Minaj, 38, was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and was raised in the New York City borough of Queens. As of Sunday afternoon she had not made any public statement about her father’s death.
In the past she has said her father was addicted to alcohol and drugs in her youth.
“When he was on crack, he was more peaceful, and when he would drink, he became loud and violent,” she told The Guardian in 2012. “Each drug has its own spirit. You could see it on the person and feel it in the room.”
The rapper gave birth last fall to a boy she has nicknamed “Papa Bear,” her first child with husband Kenneth Petty.