Perhaps Nicki Minaj will actually thank Drake later, as the title of his debut album suggests, but she did not offer him any thanks after besting him for two American Music Awards Sunday (November 18) night.
Minaj took home top honors in the hip-hop categories at the American Music Awards, beating Drake each time. But while she topped her Young Money Entertainment colleague, she didn’t mention him in either of her speeches, leaving fans wondering if there is a rift in their relationship.
Minaj took home the AMA trophies for Rap/Hip Hop artist and Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year for Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.
For album honors she edged out J. Cole (Cole World: The Sideline Story) and Drake (Take Care). In the Favorite Rap/Hip Hop category, she topped her Young Money label mates Tyga and Drake. While she brought Tyga along with her onstage and heaped praise upon her YMCMB bosses, including Lil Wayne, for their stewardship of her career, Drake was noticably absent from the stage and both acceptance shout-outs.
“I would like to thank my beautiful barbz, thank you so much for voting,” she said. “I want to thank God for just this opportunity to
do what I do.”
At one point she seemed to be searching for people to thank and mentioned her hair dresser whom she noted she rarely thanks at shows. Before she exited the stage she left one last mention: “Shout-out to loyalty,” she said.
Minaj didn’t just collect her awards, she also performed her latest hit “Freedom,” rapping from the chilly bench of a set that was decorated as a winter wonderland.
To kick off all performances, Usher opened the show with a medley of songs, including Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” “Numb,” and “Climax.” PSY shutdown the night with “Gangnam Style” and some help from ’90s dance and rap Icon MC Hammer.
Justin Bieber, who also brought out Nicki Minaj for his performance, took home the big trophy of Artist of the Year as well as Pop/Rock Album of the Year. Beyonce won Soul/R&B Female Artist, Usher took home the Male Soul/R&B, and Rihanna’s Talk That Talkscored Soul/R&B top album honors.
–E. Parker, CBS Local