Los Angeles: Hip-hop star Nicki Minaj is always surprised by the love her fans have for her and says it always feels like a celebration when she meets them.
"When I get to meet my fans, it`s a celebration. My fans have seen me come from absolutely nothing to get here, so it`s inspirational for them," contactmusic.com quoted Minaj as saying.
"When I talk to them, they`re usually telling me, `We`re so proud of you, Nicki,` as if they`re my parents or something. It`s weird the bond that we have. Today, we`re celebrating," she added.
Minaj, 29, has just joined the judging panel of "American Idol" alongside Keith Urban, Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson and she intends to approach the auditions like a music fan rather than an established recording artist.
She is very excited about appearing on the talent show and is looking forward to finding the next big pop star.
"I am going to watch it as a fan. What draws me to the show is that I feel like a lot of people who don`t know me will get to know me, my real personality outside of what everyone thinks of me.
"I am also going to play a part in making a new superstar. When you think of people like Carrie Underwood and Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson, all these amazing people who`ve come from `American Idol`, it`s a big deal. It`s a credible brand. It`s not like a game show," she said.