(Nicki Minaj performs at the 2012 Grammy Awards)
By Tomika L. Anderson
Despite losing out on the award for Best New Artist at the Grammys on Sunday night, Nicki Minaj still made quite a statement. First the Young Money rapper walked the red carpet dressed like Little Red Riding Hood, accompanied by a Pope look-alike, then she went full force with a theatrical and slightly creepy performance based around her new Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded single "Roman Holiday."
In the show's final act the animated rap star — who lost out to Bon Iver for "Best New Artist" — channeled her infamous alter ego Roman Zolanski onstage, leading the audience through a rap exorcism of sorts. At one point, she even levitated, while speaking in tongues and jumping around against a fiery backdrop.
Minaj caused a Twitter frenzy earlier in the night when she hit the red carpet wearing a blood-red, hooded robe accompanied by a man dressed like the Pope, and she continued her spirited church-act onstage. Minaj marched out sporting a brown ball gown and long, bleached-blond locks, and performed a skit before launching into her new single, "Roman Holiday," from her upcoming sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.
It was a show that Lady Gaga (who was also missed by the Grammy fairy this go-round) would have been proud of. In a pre-taped skit, Minaj was surrounded by stained glass and other religious imagery, eerily putting on lipstick, singing "I Feel Pretty." She then climbed a wall to have an exchange with the strange Pope-like figure, a man who's real identity remains unknown.
After being strapped to a leather lab table onstage, she rapped backed by a goth-looking church choir that sang a haunting version of "Come All Ye Faithful." At the crescendo, she was lifted by an invisible rope into the Grammy sky. Shooting flames helped to complete the fiery, head-scratching number.
After the performance, fans shared their mixed reactions on Twitter.
CaptainPajamas Nicki Minaj's performance just canceled black history month.#Grammys
SherriEShepherd Watching Nicki Minaj ... I didn't know whether to dance or pull out my Bible and lay hands on the tv... 2 old for the #Grammys...
LouBrutus I'll bet even Stevie Wonder was saying, "Nicki Minaj looks like a f*cking lunatic onstage tonight." #Grammys
daniibethebiiz You can hate all you want, but realize Nicki Minaj is officially the 1st female rapper to perform solo at the Grammys.
TionnaSmalls Nicki Minaj is officially the 1st female rapper to perform solo at theGrammys. OKKKKKKK
EstherFreedman i guess no one informed nicki minaj that the #Grammys are all about good music. was that supposed to be shocking? white-hot mess.
KRASHINDA85 I didn't like how Nicki Minaj looked at The Grammys but I did like her performance
arthur_read8 It was a wonderful kind of day until Nicki Minaj went onstage at theGrammys...