Singer-songwriter Nicki Minaj , who has enjoyed an illustrious career in the music industry and paved the way to fame for other female rappers, announced several weeks earlier on an episode of her Queen Radio Show that she and boyfriend Kenneth Petty would be tying the knot soon.

Curvaceous rapper Nicki Minaj took to Twitter this evening to announce, in an emoji-laden tweet, that she was stepping away from the limelight:

"I've decided to retire & have my family. I know you guys are happy now," she said.

She also urged fans to "keep reppin me, do it til da death of me," in a reference to her "Girl on Fire" collaboration with Alicia Keys in 2012.

​The bombshell announcement left the rapper’s 20.5 million followers reeling, with a flurry of comments hitting twitter, as many were devastated at the news of their idol leaving the music industry.

 Others hoped that the singer could start a family and still make music.

But many fans met the singer’s tweet with scepticism, since she has been known to pull an elaborate ruse on occasion.

The news comes just a few weeks after Nicki announced she'd soon be marrying her boyfriend Kenneth Petty.

The 36-year-old rapper shared the news on her Queen Radio show on 12 August, revealing that she expected to be married in around 80 days.

“We filed for the marriage license and we still had to pick it up and I was traveling, by the time I came back, we had to renew it again,” she explained.

“From that time, you have 90 days to get married. That was about a week ago, so now I have about 80 days.”

The rapper added they would have a bigger celebration at a later date.

“I have to work on my album and I have a lot to focus on that [so] I don’t want to do the big wedding now,” Minaj said.

Minaj went on Instagram in December to share the fact that she and Petty were making it official, posting a photo from her 36th birthday getaway.

However, the singer-songwriter had to take some flack for her choice of a husband, who is a level two registered sex offender in New York.

Nicki Minaj released her first debut album Pink Friday in 2010, after signing with Young Money Entertainment in 2009.

Nicki has since enjoyed an illustrious career in music, releasing four studio albums, selling 20 million singles, and delivering celebrated rap features like 'Monster', stopping short, however, of winning a Grammy.

Nevertheless, the rapper has won numerous music accolades, including six American Music Awards, 11 BET Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, a Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Award, and 10 Grammy Award nominations.