The singer, who is nominated in all five categories for her work on All Too Well: The Short Film, was filmed rapping all the words to Minaj’s “Super Bass” as the MC performed it live to the audience at New Jersey’s Prudential Stadium.
Minaj received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the ceremony, which is “presented to artists for their outstanding contributions and profound impact on music video and popular culture”, per the MTV website.
Unlike the regular, silver VMA trophies, the Vanguard Award recipient receives a gold-plated Moon Person.
Minaj joins the likes of Madonna, Janet Jackson, LL Cool J, Jennifer Lopez, and Missy Elliott as a Vanguard winner.
In her speech, Minaj said she wished Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston were still alive, adding: “I wish people took mental health more seriously.”
Jackson died aged 50 after suffering from cardiac arrest caused by a fatal combination of drugs given to him by his personal doctor while Houston died aged 48 from accidental drowning, with heart disease and cocaine use cited as contributing factors.
Swift, who at the time of writing has won Best Longform Video, surprised fans with her appearance at Sunday’s show.
The singer arrived in a sheer, jewelled dress after a three-year hiatus from the awards.
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