Nicki Minaj paid tribute to her loyal army of fans and the artists who paved the way for her as she accepted the 2022 MTV VMA Vanguard Award.
The Queens-bred spitter selected five of her most loyal followers to present her with the award at the ceremony on Sunday evening (Aug. 28) as a tribute to The Barbz. She also paid homage to the artists who have influenced her career.
“I wrote this down, I don’t know why y’all but this is what this was in my spirit to say, I wish that Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were here,” Nicki Minaj said during her Vanguard Award acceptance speech. “I wish that people understood what they meant and what they were going through.”
Nicki Speaks Up For Mental Health Awareness
The “Do We Have A Problem Rapper,” then called for greater mental health awareness. “I wish people took mental health seriously even for the people who you think have the perfect lives. I wish Pop Smoke and Juice WRLD and Nipsey Hussle were here,” she added.
Nicki Minaj also thanked the “key people” who inspired her, listing the rappers who influenced her. Lil Wayne, Drake Foxy Brown, Lauren Hill, Jay-Z, Slick Rick, and Doug E. Fresh, all got a shout-out. She also showed love to those who gave her Lil Wayne, Foxy Brown, Lauren Hill, Jay-Z, Slick Rick, and Doug E. Fresh.
Nicki continued, “To all the artists, producers and writers who have contributed to any of my projects, also to all the people who allow me to feature on their work … and I want you to know that I appreciate each and every one of you, I don’t take that for granted. Thank you for giving me a chance to show my skills.”
Later in the evening, when she picked up the Best Hip-Hop Award, Nicki Minaj also paid tribute to those she didn’t have time to mention earlier, She thanked artists including Taylor Swift, Elton John, Christina Aguilera, Ciara, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Keyshia Cole, Gucci Mane, Puff Daddy, Salt-N-Pepa, Kid ‘n Play, Nas, 50 Cent, LL Cool J, G-Unit, and Lil Baby for their influence on her career. Check out her moving speech below, alongside Nicki performing a medley of hits during the ceremony.
Nicki Minaj Accepts the Video Vanguard Award | 2022 MTV VMAs