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Nicki Minaj accepted the Billboard Women In Music “Game-Changer” award last night and gave a humble acceptance speech that paid homage to the recently deceased Juice Wrld, calling him a “kindred spirit.”

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Nicki began her speech by thanking Billboard for being the only event to get her “dressed” in the last month before dedicating most of her speech to the late rapper. Nicki and Juice recently went on tour together where she says they spoke in great detail.

“While we walked to the stage, he held my hand and told me to stay calm and to pray,” she remembered. “He said he had been trying to do just that. I was so shocked to hear him of all people tell me that, but right there in that moment with him telling me that, I actually did feel calm.”

Nicki went on to encourage people to feel more empathy for those dealing with mental health issues. And to look at deeper reasons why someone may be turning to drugs to sooth their problems.

“Drugs isn’t the problem, it’s the way we fix our problem. It’s so important that we don’t pass judgement so people don’t feel ashamed to speak up and ask for help. It’s so important we talk about mental health. Because people are dying because they don’t want to express how miserable they are and how much they’re suffering and they rather medicate themselves.”

The emotional rapper then thanked Alanis Morsette, the Barbz and her husband Kenneth Petty.

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Nicki donned a hip hugging gown with plunging neckline to the accept the honor. Her hair was laid by Kellon Deryck.


Nicki Minaj Encourages Mental Health Awareness: ‘It’s Important We Don’t Pass Judgement’  was originally published on