The ‘Super Freaky Girl’ raptress gives a shout-out to Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston as well as Nipsey Hussle while accepting the honor, following a performance in which she delivers a medley of her hits.

AceShowbizNicki Minaj has just taken the highest accolade at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards. The Trinidadian-born artist was chosen as the recipient of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which was announced prior to the Sunday, August 28 ceremony.

Taking the stage during the live broadcast, Nicki made use of the moment to honor some late musicians and raise awareness on mental health issues. “I wish that Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were here,” she said in her acceptance speech.

“I wish 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,” the “Anaconda” hitmaker continued. “I wish Pop Smoke and Juice WRLD and Nipsey Hussle were here.”

Nicki also thanked fellow musicians like Kanye West, Beyonce Knowles, Madonna, Mariah Carey and Drake. She then honored her late father who was killed in a hit-and-run accident last year, saying, “Rest in Peace, daddy.”

Prior to accepting the award, Nicki delivered a mesmerizing performance of a medley of her hits, including “Moment for Life”, “Super Bass”, “Anaconda” and her latest single “Super Freaky Girl”. Draped in all pink from head to toe, she slayed the performance with plenty of twerking, grinding with her shirtless male dancers and an epic pole dancing moment. Taylor Swift, who was sitting in the audience, was seen singing along during Nicki’s set.

Nicki joined a string of female artists who have received the Vanguard Award, including Missy Elliott (2019), Jennifer Lopez (2018), Pink (2017), Rihanna (2016), Beyonce (2014) and Britney Spears (2011).

“Nicki has broken barriers for women in hip-hop with her versatility and creative artistry,” Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming and events at Paramount and chief content officer of music at Paramount+, said in a statement when Nicki was first announced as this year’s Video Vanguard honoree. “She has shifted the music industry and cemented her status as a global superstar with her crossover appeal, genre-defying style and continuing to be unapologetically ‘Nicki.’ “

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