Nicki Minaj accepts Vanguard Award from her Barbz — and Remembers Late Stars.
Nicki Minaj Wins “Video Vanguard Award” at 2022 VMA's
Nicki Minaj advocates for mental health as she receives the Video Vanguard Award.
The Queens, N.Y. native stole the show while taking the stage to perform a medley of hits before accepting the most prestigious accolade of the night ─ Nicki Minaj hit the stage at 2022 “Video Music Awards” on Sunday (Aug. 28), to perform a compilation of her fan-favorites like “All Things Go,” “Roman's Revenge,” “Monster,” “Beez in the Trap,” “Chun-Li,” “Moment 4 Life,” “Super Bass," “Anaconda,” and “Super Freaky Girl.”
Minaj used her acceptance speech to remember a handful of late stars who had a big impact on her throughout her career. “I don’t know why y’all, but this was in my spirit to say: I wish Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were here,” she said.
“I wish that people understood what they meant and what they were going through. I wish people took mental health seriously, even for the people who they think have the perfect lives.” She added, “I wish Pop Smoke, and Juice Wrld, and Nipsey Hussle were here. RIP Daddy.” (Minaj’s father was killed in a car crash last year.)
You can watch Nicki Minaj acceptance speech for Video Vanguard Award/Performance at the medley 2022 VMAs below.
Members from her fan club, widely known as the "Barbz," presented the award to the "reining queen of hip hop." During her speech, she took the time to thank the "key people" who inspire her like Lil Wayne and JAY-Z — and those who gave her "huge opportunities" like Kanye West, Rihanna,Beyoncé and more.
“I never, ever in my life have written a speech and today I jotted something down on my phone and I gave my phone to Joe and he’s not up here with it because now I don’t remember stuff,” Minaj started off.
Minaj went on to thank a whole list of people, including those that inspired her flow (among them Lil Wayne, Lauryn Hill, Foxy Brown, Jay-Z, Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh) and those that helped her during her career: Kanye West, Beyonce, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Rihanna. “I have to thank Drizzy for always saying the things I need to hear to get me back in the game,” she said specifically to Drake.
“I wish that Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were here,” Minaj continued. “I wish that people understood what they meant and what they were going through. I wish people took mental health seriously — even for the people who you think have perfect lives. I wish Pop Smoke and Juice WRLD and Nipsey Hussle were here.”