Nicki Minaj accepted Billboard’s Rising Star 0f 2011 award in tears on Friday (December 2) in New York City’s Capitale downtown venue. The early afternoon luncheon was attended by the likes of Katie Couric, Robin Roberts, Hoda Kotb and many other women in the media and music business as well as the year’s Woman of the Year, Taylor Swift.
“Oh my God, I didn’t write anything to say,” the Harajuku Barbie, dressed in a black form-fitting gown and rocking a blonde, hip-length wig, said holding back tears. “I’m so incredibly grateful and thankful for my Barbz… These kids are my world… I want them to know they are capable of things their minds can’t fathom. Barbz, I love you so much for being by my side for such a long time.”
Nicki, who was accompanied by her “glam squad,” as she referred to her styling team, as well as her hype man/alleged boyfriend SB and her pastor, also thanked the many successful business women in the room, including BET’s Debra Lee and Atlantic’s Julie Greenwald, both of which were among Billboard’s 2011 Women in Music, for showing her that dreams do come true.
“[Thanks to] all the women recognized today for showing me this is possible,” Nicki said, “and that you can be your own boss and make the music you want and portray an image you believe in.”
Nicki was interviewed by ABC’s Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts, during when Nicki thanked Taylor Swift once again for helping boost her “Super Bass” single’s popularity, recalling the famous viral video from the top of the year when Swift rapped along to the chart hit.
“I saw an interview where they asked [Taylor] what song she liked,” Nicki shared, “and she started rapping ‘Super Bass’… I think after that it climbed up like 80 something spots on iTunes. That’s why I keep thanking Taylor Swift. This is real! I’m not just saying it, this is something you really had a hand in.”
In terms of her upcoming sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, slated for a February 14, 2012 release date, Nicki Minaj said she’s less worried about public perception this time around.
“One of the many things is that I really don’t care anymore,” she said. “I’ve done so much to please people I learned I won’t please everyone. Now, I’m just having fun.”
Taylor Swift also took the stage, after being introduced by Billboard’s Editorial Director Bill Werde, to accept her honor and to chat with Couric about her own path to stardom. During his speech about Swift, Werde dared the country star and Minaj to collaborate on a track, much like the 2009 honorees, Beyonce and Lady Gaga, did after meeting at the annual luncheon with their hit “Telephone.”
In related news, Nicki Minaj dropped a track titled “Roman in Moscow” off her upcoming release just hours after receiving the award. Check out the song below:
—Mariel Concepcion @mceezy