"Starships" is a song by Trinidadian-American singer-songwriter and rapper Nicki Minaj, taken from her second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. It was released on February 14, 2012 by Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic as the lead single from the album. The song was written by Minaj, Nadir Khayat, Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub and Wayne Hector, and was produced by RedOne, Yacoub, and Falk. Initially, "Va Va Voom' was intended to be released as the first single, though its release was scrapped in favor of "Starships".
"Starships" received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who complimented its production, though found it generic and criticized Minaj's transition towards pop music. The song is Minaj's most successful single to date, peaking inside the top five in over fifteen countries. It remains her most certified single to date, and has become one of the best-selling singles of all time. The song also made US Billboard history, debuting in the US top ten and then spending a total of 21 consecutive weeks in the top ten.
Minaj has performed the song live in a number of appearances, and was the encore performance on the Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour. The corresponding music video was shot Oahu Island, Hawaii. Directed by Anthony Mandler, the song features Nicki on a beach in a bikini, and near the end of the video, it shows her and a "party-esque" dancing to the song and performing. The music video was critically acclaimed from music critics, many praising the kaleidoscope effects in the video and the fun, carefree style. However, some critics noticed its postponed release, because the video for her single "Beez in the Trap" was released before "Starships" was. With all the success, the song has also sparked controversy surrounding a pulled live performance.