Nicki Minaj just earned a “monster” award of a lifetime at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night, skyrocketing her to the iconic ranks of heavy hitters like Madonna, Janet Jackson, David Bowie, Missy Elliott and The Beatles.
The rapper — who has racked up 17 VMA nominations in her career and won five times — was crowned with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on Sunday night.
The gold-plated award is “presented to artists for their outstanding contributions and profound impact on music video and popular culture,” per MTV.
She stormed the set with big Barbie energy, adorned in all pink from head to toe.
From sultry BDSM-inspired sets to dazzling holograms of pink panthers, the rapper’s performance was visually stunning as she took the VMAs stage for the first time since 2018.
The iconically animated rapper took the roaring crowd down memory lane to revisit some of her best hits, including “Roman’s Revenge,” “Super Bass” and “Moment 4 Life.”
Minaj capped off the performance with “Super Freaky Girl,” her latest hit. The powerhouse song, which was released on Aug. 12, became the first solo female rap track to debut atop the chart since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” back in 1998.
Minaj was also nominated in the Best Hip Hop category for her single “Do We Have a Problem?,” featuring rapper Lil Baby.
The catchy track debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, marking Minaj’s ninth chart-topper. A
long with LL Cool J and Jack Harlow, Minaj hosted the ceremony, introducing acts and presenting the famous Moon Person trophies alongside performers including Lizzo, Anitta, BLACKPINK, J Balvin and Panic! at the Disco.
In July, Minaj revealed a sneak peek of “Super Freaky Girl” on Twitter.
“He want a F R EEEEEE A K #FreakyGirl #NickiFreakyGirl,” she captioned the Twitter post, alongside flirty tongue emojis.
Check out the full list of 2022 VMA winners here.