The 2022 MTV Video Music Awards took place Sunday, August 28th at the Prudentional Center in Newark, New Jersey. Nicki Minaj a long with LL Cool J and Jack Harlow hosted the ceremony. The “Chun Li” artist took home the Video Vanguard and Best Hip Hop awards. She is the second female rapper in history to do so!
Before being presented with the award, Nicki Minaj gave the audience a full medley of her chart-topping singles including “Roman’s Revenge”, Moment 4 Life”, and “Anaconda”. She closed with a live performance of her #1 Billboard single “Super Freaky Girl”. Following that, five “Barbz” presented her with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Achievement Award. The five-time VMA award winner went on to give a heartfelt acceptance speech.
The notably known “Queen of Rap” with a dedicated fanbase highlighted the need to “take mental health seriously” while highlighting a few late artists. “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 Pop Smoke and Juice Wrld and Nipsey Hussle were here.” She continued to mention more personal losses. “R.I.P. Daddy, my cousin Richard, and my business manager Angela, who I never got to say ‘rest in peace’ to publicly.” Her acceptance speech also highlighted a call to action for mental health. “I wish that people took mental health seriously — even for the people that you think have the perfect lives.”
Minaj also thanked her influences including Lil Wayne, Jay Z, Foxy Brown and Lauryn Hill along with collaborators that gave her “huge opportunities” like Kanye West, Beyoncé, Madonna, Eminem, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Drake, and Mariah Carey. After accepting the 2022 Best Hip Hop Video Award, she continued her thanks for more artists including Fergie, Taylor Swift, Elton John, Christina Aguilera, Ciara, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Keyshia Cole, Gucci Mane, Puff Daddy, Salt-N-Pepa, Kid ‘n Play, Nas, 50 Cent, LL Cool J, G-Unit, and Lil Baby.
Other 2022 VMA winners include Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow for the Best Art Direction, Visual Effects, Best Collaboration awards for their song “Industry Baby”. Doja Cat won Best Choreography for her single “Woman”. The Weeknd took home the Best R&B award for “Out of Time”. Lizzo received the Video for Good award for “About Damn Time”. View the full list of VMA winners here.