Nicki Minaj takes plunge in low-cut number while honored at Billboard Women in Music awards in LA

Nicki Minaj looked amazing as she accepted the Game-Changer honors at Billboard Women in Music awards Thursday held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.

The Grammy-nominated artist, 37, donned a long sleeve black dress with lace arms and cutouts, wearing her silky black locks up and in bangs. 

The Queens, New York native carried her purse and phone onstage as she accepted the honors from presenter Normani, then paid tribute to her late friend and tour mate Juice WRLD, days after his death at 21 amid a seizure while at Midway Airport in Chicago.

The latest: Nicki Minaj, 37, looked amazing as she accepted the Game-Changer honors at Billboard Women in Music awards Thursday held at the Hollywood Palladium in LA

The latest: Nicki Minaj, 37, looked amazing as she accepted the Game-Changer honors at Billboard Women in Music awards Thursday held at the Hollywood Palladium in LA

Minaj shared a touching exchange she shared with the late performer, whose real name was Jarad Anthony Higgins, as she was stressed prior to a concert.

‘He held my hand and told me to stay calm and pray,’ Minaj told the audience. ‘I was shocked that he told me that, but right there in that moment, I did feel calm and wondered, “Hm, what am I actually worried about?”‘

The Anaconda singer called the artist a ‘kindred spirit’ and said she wished she had done ‘something to help’ after the rapper’s family issued a statement acknowledged he had a drug problem.

‘I know this is a Women in Music night,’ Minaj said, ‘and I’m honored to be in the presence of all these women. But it doesn’t feel comfortable to talk about me when someone so important to our culture died.’

Stylish: The Grammy-nominated artist, 36, donned a long sleeve black dress with lace arms and cutouts, wearing her silky black locks up and in bangs

Stylish: The Grammy-nominated artist, 36, donned a long sleeve black dress with lace arms and cutouts, wearing her silky black locks up and in bangs

Empathetic: Nicki paid tribute to her late friend and tour mate Juice WRLD, days after his death at 21 amid a seizure while at Midway Airport in Chicago

Empathetic: Nicki paid tribute to her late friend and tour mate Juice WRLD, days after his death at 21 amid a seizure while at Midway Airport in Chicago

Support: The Queens, New York native accepted the honors from presenter Normani

Support: The Queens, New York native accepted the honors from presenter Normani

Memories: Minaj shared a touching exchange she shared with the late performer Juice WRLD, as she was stressed prior to a concert once and he calmed her

Memories: Minaj shared a touching exchange she shared with the late performer Juice WRLD, as she was stressed prior to a concert once and he calmed her

‘It’s important not to pass judgement so people aren’t ashamed to speak out and ask for help. I just came here tonight to ask people to be a little more forgiving and understanding, especially with entertainers – we can’t have a bad day.’

Minaj told the audience they are ‘allowed to be human’ and ended her speech on a note encouraging those in need of help to seek it.

‘I just wanted to encourage everyone to talk about whatever it is they need to talk about, and be honest and open and get help,’ she said. 

Foresight: Minaj told the audience they are 'allowed to be human' and ended her speech on a note encouraging those in need of help to seek it

Foresight: Minaj told the audience they are ‘allowed to be human’ and ended her speech on a note encouraging those in need of help to seek it

On Thursday, Juice WRLD’s mom Carmella Wallace issued a poignant statement to TMZ addressing the young artist’s premature passing.

‘We loved Jarad with all of our hearts and cannot believe our time with him has been cut short. As he often addressed in his music and to his fans, Jarad battled with prescription drug dependency,’ Wallace said. ‘Addiction knows no boundaries and its impact goes way beyond the person fighting it.

The grieving mom called her late child ‘a son, brother, grandson, friend and so much more to so many people who wanted more than anything to see him defeat addiction.’

She said that the family hopes that ‘hope the conversations he started in his music and his legacy will help others win their battles as that is what he wanted more than anything,’ adding, ‘We know that Jarad’s legacy of love, joy and emotional honesty will live on.’  

Wisdom: Nicki told the audience, 'I just came here tonight to ask people to be a little more forgiving and understanding, especially with entertainers - we can't have a bad day'

Wisdom: Nicki told the audience, ‘I just came here tonight to ask people to be a little more forgiving and understanding, especially with entertainers – we can’t have a bad day’

Making it work: Nicki spoke with Billboard this week over her status as a Game-Changer, and the strategic moves she made to achieve such status

Making it work: Nicki spoke with Billboard this week over her status as a Game-Changer, and the strategic moves she made to achieve such status

Trendsetters: Nicki posed with breakout artist Billie Eilish at the Hollywood proceedings 

Icons: She posed for a snap with Alanis Morissette

Icons: She posed for a snap with Alanis Morissette 

They just wanna: Nicki shared a moment with iconic vocalist Cyndi Lauper at the event

They just wanna: Nicki shared a moment with iconic vocalist Cyndi Lauper at the event 

Nicki spoke with Billboard this week over her status as a Game-Changer, and the strategic moves she made to achieve such status. 

‘I had an approach that had a lot of different layers,’ she said. ‘I first got the underground market and my hometown [on lock]. Then I gradually worked my way up. 

She continued: ‘One of the things that I used [to my advantage] was my ability to switch my flow and be entertaining on a track. And even before I was doing music, I loved looking at magazines to see who was setting trends.’ 

On the go: Nicki was seen leaving the gala event

On the go: Nicki was seen leaving the gala event 

Quite the eyeful: Nicki was nearly spilling out of her top

Quite the eyeful: Nicki was nearly spilling out of her top

Quite the eyeful: Nicki was nearly spilling out of her top 

Proud: She happily signed some autographs for adoring fans

Proud: She happily signed some autographs for adoring fans 

Thrill of a lifetime: She even took a snap with one of her loyal followers

Thrill of a lifetime: She even took a snap with one of her loyal followers 

Colleagues: Nicki was seen onstage with Juice WRLD in a past performance

Colleagues: Nicki was seen onstage with Juice WRLD in a past performance 

Well-remembered: Juice WRLD, seen in Las Vegas in May, was fondly spoken of by Nicki in her speech

Well-remembered: Juice WRLD, seen in Las Vegas in May, was fondly spoken of by Nicki in her speech 

Billboard Women In Music honorees 

WOMAN OF THE DECADE: Taylor Swift

WOMAN OF THE YEAR: Billie Eilish

RISING STAR: Rosalia

GAME CHANGER: Nicki Minaj

ICON: Alanis Morissette

TRAILBLAZER: Brandi Carlile 

IMPACT AWARD: Alicia Keys

POWERHOUSE: Megan Thee Stallion

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