Twelve years after attending the MTV VMAs as a Best New Artist nominee, Nicki Minaj returned to the show on Sunday as the recipient of this year’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
Lest you forget what it took to earn that honor, Minaj also brought some of the biggest hits of her career to the Prudential Center stage to remind you.
Minaj joins an illustrious group of Video Vanguard recipients, one that already includes Missy Elliott (2019), Jennifer Lopez (2018), Pink (2017), Rihanna (2016), Beyoncé (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 Minaj 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.’”
Watch footage of Minaj’s performance below, which we’ll replace with an official video if/when it becomes available:
In addition to receiving this year’s Video Vanguard trophy, Minaj also entered Sunday’s ceremony with a Best Hip-Hop Video nomination for “Do We Have a Problem?” which she shared with Lil Baby. Minaj has previously won five VMAs for her work on jams like “Super Bass,” “Starships” and “Anaconda.” She has also received a handful of nominations, including Best New Artist in 2010, which she lost to Justin Bieber. (2010, what a year!)
Other high-profile performers at this year’s VMAs include Anitta, Bad Bunny, Blackpink, Eminem, J Balvin, Jack Harlow, Kane Brown, Khalid, Lizzo, Måneskin, Marshmello, Panic! at the Disco, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Snoop Dogg.
Minaj co-anchored this year’s VMAs alongside LL Cool J and Jack Harlow. Hit PLAY on the video above to watch her Video Vanguard performance, then grade it and drop a comment with your full review below.
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