Nicki Minaj is back for the VMAs! On August 28, she will both receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and perform live at the 2022 show for the first time in four years.
The award is presented to artists for their outstanding contributions and profound impact on music video and popular culture. Unlike other trophies given at the VMAs, the Vanguard Award is a gold-plated Moon Person rather than a traditional silver one. Previous Vanguard Award recipients include Madonna, Janet Jackson, LL Cool J, Jennifer Lopez, and Missy Elliott. Additionally, David Bowie, The Beatles, and director Richard Lester shared the honor at the first-ever VMAs in September 1984.
Currently, the “Chun-Li” rapper is nominated this year in the Best Hip Hop category for her major single “Do We Have a Problem?,” which also features fellow rapper Lil Baby. This is her seventeenth nomination at the VMAs since her debut in 2010. She took home her first Moon Person statue for Best Hip Hop Video in 2011 (“Super Bass”) and another the following year for Best Female Video (“Starships”) and has won five VMA trophies throughout her career. Most recently, she picked up a Moon Person in 2019 for Best Power Anthem (“Hot Girl Summer”).
Minaj will be releasing her next single “Super Freaky Girl” ahead of the show on August 12. She posted a preview snippet of the track on social media on July 13. The cover art for the single was unveiled on August 5, with the rapper bringing in a Barbie look with long, hot-pink wavy hair and a matching pink bodysuit and stilettos.
This year’s show will return to New Jersey’s Prudential Center in Newark on Sunday, August 28. The ceremony previously hit the Garden State in 2019, hosted by Sebastian Maniscalco; last year’s show aired from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Be sure to go vote for your faves at vma.mtv.com.