The annual MTV Music Video Awards always guarantee an impressive roster of performances for the evening, but this year, the artist viewers were most excited to see was none other than “Super Bass” hitmaker Nicki Minaj, who also happens to be the recipient of the 2022 Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
Before she accepted the prestigious prize, the Trinidadian rapper delivered a rousing career-spanning presentation, which included greatest hits like “All Things Go,” “Roman’s Revenge,” “Monster,” “Beez in the Trap,” “Chun-Li,” “Moment 4 Life,” “Super Bass,” “Anaconda,” and finally, her most recent arrival, “Super Freaky Girl.”
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Nicki Minaj performs at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards — Arturo Holmes/Getty Images
As PEOPLE notes, the crowd was happily singing along, standing up to cheer Mama Minaj on. Cameras even caught country/pop star Taylor Swift rapping the lyrics to some of the tracks and encouraging others to stand up with her.
While she was accepting VMA (presented to her by members of the Barbz), the 39-year-old gave a heartwarming speech during which she gave a shoutout to “key people” who she considers to be inspirations, such as Lil Wayne and JAY-Z.
Minaj also gave flowers to Kanye West, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Eminem, and more for giving her “huge opportunities” that helped her reach the level she’s at now.
The “Feelin’ Myself” hitmaker took a moment to focus on mental health and other artists who we’ve tragically lost in recent years. “I wish Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were still here,” she said.
“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 we think have perfect lives. I wish Pop Smoke and Juice WRLD and Nipsey Hussle were here.”
Minaj continued, “RIP Daddy, my cousin Richard and my business manager Angela who I never got to say rest in peace to publicly,” before shouting out her 23-month-old son, Papa Bear.