The queen is back.
Nicki Minaj returned to the MTV Video Music Awards stage tonight for a mash-up performance of some of her greatest hits to celebrate her being this year's Video Vanguard Award recipient. During the extra-long performance, she performed nine of her most popular tracks, such as "Monster," "Moment 4 Life," and "Anaconda," to a cheering crowd inside New Jersey's Prudential Center.
For the memorable performance, Minaj transformed the VMAs stage into a Barbie dream house in tribute to her fans, the Barbz. She wore a matching Barbiecore outfit, composed of a bedazzled corset with crystal-covered sleeves, a flared light-pink skirt, and black platform boots with hot pink laces. Her beauty look included a curly bubblegum pink wig worn in a half-up style and a pale pink bow, as well as bright colored contacts.
Minaj is one of three hosts for tonight's award ceremony, along with rappers Jack Harlow and LL Cool J.
Following her performance, the rapper received a tribute from her fans, the Barbs, with five fans presenting her award in person. She then made a moving speech, in which she thanked the rappers and musicians that she worked with throughout her career, including Beyoncé, Drake, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, and Mariah Carey.
The "Super Bass" rapper also gave an emotional tribute to deceased music legends while stressing the importance of mental health.
"I wish that Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were here," she said, also mentioning fellow rappers Pop Smoke, Juice WRLD, and Nipsey Hussle, as well as late members of her family and inner circle. "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 the perfect lives."
To conclude her speech, she shouted out her fans, and thanked her young son, whom she welcomed with husband Kenneth "Zoo" Petty in September 2020 and refers to by the nickname "Papa Bear."
"You guys are my babies but I have a new baby, his name is Papa Bear," she said. "Papa Bear, mommy loves you so so so so so so much."
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