Hip-hop icon Onika “Nicki Minaj” Miraj has made another “moment for life” at tonight’s 2022 MTV VMA Awards. The Queen rapstress deservingly accepted the 2022 Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award on Sunday (Aug. 28) at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Not only was Nicki honored, she also co-hosted the ceremony alongside Jack Harlow and LL Cool J.
As members of her die-hard Barbz fanbase presented her with the honor, Minaj made her way to the stage before giving her acceptance speech. “Let me tell you something,” she started. “I never ever in my life have written a speech, and today I jotted something down on my phone. First of all, I wanna say to everyone in here, God bless you.” Nicki then went on to speak about her come-up and her recent endeavors like her forthcoming Greatest Hits album.
She continued with her phone in her hand, “I wanna thank the key people that inspired my flow.” She went on to name her influences and those who gave her big opportunities including Lil’ Wayne, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Foxy Brown, Rihanna, Drake, Beyonce, and Madonna. Later in the show she added the names Diddy, Fergie, Big Fendi, Taylor Swift and more to that same list.
Nicki also paid respect to her late father, who tragically died last year, and thanked the Barbz for their continued support. She also mentioned that she wished Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston had been alive to witness her moment, in which she playfully referenced part of Houston’s acceptance from the 2001 BET Awards.
Before receiving the honor, Minaj blessed the stage showing the world exactly why she is considered one of Hip-Hop’s living greats. With a high-energy all-pink dolled-out performance, the 39-year-old delivered her biggest hits, including “Romans Revenge,” “Monster,” “Beez In the Trap,” “Chun-Li,” “Moment For Life,” “Super Bass,” and “Anaconda.” Sporting her signature pink hair, an ombré pink skater skirt, sequin corset top, and black boots, Nicki switched into a tasteful pole ensemble and performed her newest single, “Super Freaky Girl.”
To add to her VMA accolades, Nicki took home the Moon person for Best Hip-Hop Video for “Do We Have A Problem?” featuring Lil Baby for the second time. She scored the same award in 2011 for “Super Bass.” Besides her nominated music video with Lil Baby, Nicki released her Rick James-sampled single “Super Freaky Girl,” which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and the Streaming Songs chart, her first No. 1 since 2014’s “Anaconda.”
Congratulations to Nicki Minaj on all of her success thus far! Watch Nicki’s acceptance speech above and full performance below.