Nicki Minaj kicked off a jam-packed third episode of Beats 1's Queen Radio on Thursday (Aug. 16) shortly after noon ET, with the music community in mourning following Aretha Franklin's death. Minaj made sure to rightly honor the life of the Queen of Soul, and Alicia Keys also stopped by to deliver an impromptu performance of Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."
"It’s no secret she’s an icon -- an icon of all icons," Minaj said. "I don’t know anyone who she hasn’t inspired. It seems strange to wake up and hear she passed, even though she lived a long and fulfilled life. But still, we’ve lost one of our icons. Someone we’ve all been inspired by."
The 35-year-old rapper reflected on learning the Detroit native's 1967 anthem "Respect" in school as a child. "I remember being in school learning ‘Respect,’ and that felt like a mini national anthem for us. It’s so weird how everyone grew up with that song," she said. "What I love about the song is not just saying 'give me respect,' it’s demanding respect. I like strong and iconic women. She was unapologetically the Queen."