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Nicki Minaj

Source: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz

Global superstar Nicki Minaj will receive the coveted Video Vanguard Award at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards airing live from Prudential Center on Sunday, Aug. 28.

The rap star is a 17-time VMA nominee and a five-time VMA winner. She will also perform at the event for the first time since 2018. 

“Nicki has broken barriers for women in hip-hop with her versatility and creative artistry,” Bruce Gillmer, President of Music, Music Talent, Programming & Events, Paramount and Chief Content Officer, Music, Paramount+, said in a statement. “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’.”

Previous Vanguard Award recipients include Madonna, Janet Jackson, LL Cool J, Jennifer Lopez and Missy Elliott

Last year marked the second year in a row that no one was honored with the Video Vanguard Award. The award is considered the show’s highest honor and other recipients include Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, and Beyoncé. 

Nicki Minaj has had many memorable moments from previous VMAs. She made her debut on the show’s main stage when she popped up rapping a surprise verse on Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire.” She then returned with a trifecta of performances in 2014, first taking fans to the Amazonian jungle with “Anaconda,” then teaming up with Ariana Grande and Jessie J for a show-stopping performance of “Bang Bang,” and finally, “She Came To Give It To U” with Usher.

Nicki burned down the VMA stage with an appearance in 2018 that included an unforgettable rap medley from her album Queen, featuring songs “Majesty,” “Ganga Burn,” “FEFE” and “Barbie Dreams.” 

The rap star picked up her first VMA award in 2011, she continued domination in the “Best Hip Hop” category, picking up wins for “Anaconda” (2015) and “Chun-Li” (2018). Minaj also took home “Best Female Video” in 2012 for “Starships.”

Most recently, she picked up a Moon Person in 2019 for “Best Power Anthem” (“Hot Girl Summer”). 

Minaj is readying a new studio album. Her new single, “Super Freaky Girl,” will drop on August 12.