“I wrote this down, I don’t know why, but this was in my spirit to say: I wish that Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were here,” Minaj began. “I wish that people understood what they meant and what they were going through. … I wish Pop Smoke and Juice Wrld and Nipsey Hussle were here. R.I.P. Daddy, my cousin Richard, and my business manager Angela, who I never got to say ‘rest in peace’ to publicly.”
She also talked about mental health, saying, “I wish that people took mental health seriously — even for the people that you think have the perfect lives.”
Minaj, who was one of the co-hosts of the event with LL Cool J and Jack Harlow, accepted the award after performing a medley of her hits, including her new single “Super Freaky Girl.”
Minaj credited Lil Wayne, Foxy Brown, Lauryn Hill and Jay-Z for inspiring her work, and she thanked some of her past collaborators like Kanye West, Beyoncé, Madonna, Eminem, Britney Spears and Rihanna.