Nicki Minaj certainly knows how to create a moment. The multi-talented MC opened the 2017 Billboard Music Awards with a bang, bringing out high-profile guests Lil Wayne (“No Frauds”), David Guetta (“Light My Body Up”) and Jason Derulo (“Swalla”) for a four-song medley that concluded with a solo run through her recent single “Regret In Your Tears.”
After an introduction that included snippets of previous hits like “Beez in the Trap,” “Starships” and “Moment For Life,” Minaj ripped into a forceful rendition of her much-discussed Remy Ma diss track “No Frauds,” with Weezy on hand to run through his verse. Drake, who is also featured on the song, did not appear (though he watched from the crowd), but Minaj had plenty more guests to come, moving seamlessly into “Light My Body Up” with Guetta manning the boards behind her.
Derulo then emerged, sporting long dreads and a chain over an all-black ensemble, to kick into “Swalla.” Minaj, seductive and sexy as always, delivered her verse while gyrating in a chair, but she still had more to come. “Regret In Your Tears,” another cut she released in a trilogy earlier this year that also included “Frauds” and the Wayne-assisted “Changed It,” rounded out her four-song medley and saw the MC rapping-singing while rising on a pedestal, putting an exclamation point on the superstar-charged opener.
Minaj is nominated for the Billboard Chart Achievement Award Presented by Xfinity, alongside Luke Bryan, The Chainsmokers, The Weeknd and Twenty One Pilots. She’s had a busy 2017 already; in addition to the songs she performed to open the show, all of which have been released this year, she’s also released the song “Changed It” with Wayne, as well as tracks alongside Gucci Mane (“Make Love”), Major Lazer (“Run Up”), DNCE (“Kissing Strangers”) and Katy Perry (“Swish Swish”), with an album thought to be on the way this year.
And in March, Nicki earned herself a piece of history when she passed the legendary Aretha Franklin for most Hot 100 appearances among women in the history of the chart with 76. Franklin (73), Taylor Swift (70), Rihanna (58) and Madonna (57) round out the top five. Check out Minaj’s star-studded medley above.