Minaj captivated audiences in 2010 with her out-of-this-world VMA pre-show performance of "Check It Out," and in 2011 she did it again with a head-turning red-carpet ensemble and an unforgettable VMA acceptance speech.
Minaj is looking to continue to make a name for herself at this year's VMAs. The "Starships" singer has a total of three nominations, including Best Female Video and Best Hip-Hop Video.
"Nominated for three VMAs. Thank you to MTV as always," Minaj recently told MTV News.
Yet if she wins, it might be hard to top last year's awards, when she received her first-ever Moonman for Best Hip-Hop Video for "Super Bass."
"I remember when I won for 'Super Bass,' " Minaj said. "It had gotten to the point where I never won anything, so I would just go to awards shows just to wear a cute outfit. So when they called my name, I was like, 'Is this a joke? What? Is this really happening?' That was like, a very, very memorable moment. That was one of the best moments in my career, to just hear my name and truly be surprised."
And surprised she was. After getting a congratulations from Young Money mentor Lil Wayne, Minaj took the stage and gave a moving VMA acceptance speech.
"Oh my god!" she screamed during her speech. "Southside Jamaica, Queens, underground female rapper, Young Money, Cash Money ... I want to thank God. I want to thank my family. I want to thank Sanaa [Hamri] for directing an amazing video.
"And the Barbz. I love you, Barbz. I love you so much. And MTV, I thank you."
So who will Minaj thank this year if she wins again?
"I don't plan speeches," the Young Money rapper admitted. "I'm just happy to be nominated, and if I win, I win."
The 2012 MTV Video Music Awards will air live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday, September 6, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Head to VMA.MTV.com or text BNA to 22444 (message and data rates may apply) to vote for Best New Artist all the way through the show! Get the latest VMA updates sent right to your inbox: Sign up for the MTV News alert.