Nicki Minaj is making sure that all of her Barbz and followers alike are keeping their mental health top of mind. On Sunday night (Aug. 28) Minaj took center stage to perform a melody of her top hits including “Super Bass,” “Beez In the Trap,” “Roman’s Revenge,” and “Moment 4 Life,” before commanding the microphone during her acceptance speech as the 2022 VMAs Video Vanguard Award recipient where she highlighted the importance of mental wellness.
“I don’t know why y’all but this was in my spirit to say. I wish that Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were here. 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,” she said.
Minaj also shared heartfelt sentiments about late rappers Pop Smoke, Nipsey Hussle, and Juice WRLD before also acknowledging the more personal losses of her father, cousin and business manager Angela Kukawski.
The 39-year-old also expressed thank you’s to her Young Money team (including Drake and Lil Wayne), while also giving thanks to Jay-Z, Foxy Brown, and other legendary MCs who inspired her flow throughout her career. Minaj then praised Beyoncé, Kanye West, Rihanna, Eminem, Britney Spears, and Madonna for their contributions and collaborations throughout her acclaimed career.
Wrapping up her speech, she made sure to shout out her new bundle of joy, her son, who she has proudly named “Papa Bear.”
Nicki Minaj is the first Video Vanguard Award recipient since Missy Elliott, who took home the award back in 2019.
Watch her acceptance speech below: