In her VMA speech, Nicki Minaj paid tribute to Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.
Nicki Minaj received the Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, paying tribute to artists who have inspired her.
“I don’t know why I wrote this down, but it was in my spirit to say: I wish Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were here,” Minaj began. “I wish people understood what they were saying and what they were going through. I wish Pop Smoke, Juice Wrld, and Nipsey Hussle were in attendance. R.I.P., Daddy, Richard, my cousin, and Angela, my business manager, to whom I never got to publicly say “rest in peace.””
She also addressed mental health, saying, “I wish people would take mental health seriously — even for the people you think have perfect lives.”
Minaj accepted the award after performing a medley of her hits, including her new single “Super Freaky Girl,” which she co-hosted with LL Cool J and Jack Harlow.
Minaj credited Lil Wayne, Foxy Brown, Lauryn Hill, and Jay-Z for inspiring her work, as well as Kanye West, Beyoncé, Madonna, Eminem, Britney Spears, and Rihanna.