Nicki Minaj gave a rousing tribute to the late Juice Wrld in a moment where we should’ve been celebrating her.
Nicki Minaj deserved a second award purely on her tribute to the late Juice Wrld. Billboard chose to honor women in music last night, but one woman decided to pay tribute to a man whose music also touched lives. The annual Women in Music event recognizes female artists who have made a significant contribution to the industry and inspire others through their success. Having previously been awarded the Rising Star Award by the magazine in 2011, the “Megatron” rapper was honored for a second time, on this occasion receiving the inaugural Game-Changer Award. She earned the special accolade after becoming the first woman to notch up 100 appearances on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Normani presented the award to the 37-year-old who took the opportunity to not make the moment entirely about her own achievements.
The statement was, of course, in reference to Juice Wrld, who tragically passed away almost a week ago at 21-years-old. The “Lucid Dreams” rapper suffered a fatal seizure at Chicago’s Midway International Airport after consuming a vast amount of Percocet pills. He had swallowed the opioids in a bid to hide them from police who were searching his private jet for weapons and narcotics.
“I recently had the pleasure of working and touring with Juice WRLD,” Nicki told the crowd. “I had a great conversation with him one day, and while we walked to the stage, he held my hand and told me to stay calm and to pray. He said he had been trying to do just that. I felt like he was a kindred spirit, and looking back now, I wish I did something differently or said something to help.”
In an attempt to do that, the Queen of Rap called on her fellow industry members to address their issues with drugs and mental health.
“Drugs aren’t the problem, it’s the way we fix our problems,” she said. “It’s so important we talk about mental health because people are dying because they don’t want to express how miserable they are and how much they are suffering, so they’d rather medicate themselves.”
We salute you, Miss Minaj.