Nicki Minaj kicked off the Billboard Music Awards with a bang. Live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the rap queen opened Sunday’s show with an electrifying nine-minute medley of hits featuring special guests Lil Wayne, David Guetta, and Jason Derulo.
First up, the woman with the most Hot 100 placements of all time had dancers performing her smashes, including “Beez in the Trap,” “Anaconda,” and “Moment 4 Life,” while her famous videos played in the background.
Then, dressed in an all black dominatrix outfit and mask, the Generous Queen launched into “No Frauds” — her vicious Remy Ma diss track — with a cameo from Lil Wayne and chiseled male dancers beside her. With her dancers donning biohazard masks, Nicki carried this theme into “Light My Body Up” with David Guetta, where the pyrotechnics were as explosive as her dance moves, as she wowed the crowd with curves and gyrations.
The set didn’t end there. Joined by Jason Derulo, Nicki jumped into their “Swalla” collaboration, rocking thigh-high leather boots and dark sunglasses to go with her all black outfit. Here, she dropped provocative moves on a chair while Derulo danced with a bevy of beauties of his own.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, Nicki capped things off with “Regret in Your Tears.” In a different all black outfit, Minaj performed her emotional ballad with a group of statuesque dancers in front of a waterfall background as her triumphant closer.
The show’s executive producer Mark Bracco told fans that this would be an explosive set just days earlier. “She’s opening the show as a way of honoring a great achievement she had on the Billboard charts this year,” he said. “It’s going to be an epic opening.”
Not only did Nicki set the tone for the BBMAs, she’s also up for the Billboard Chart Achievement Award against acts like Luke Bryan, The Chainsmokers, The Weeknd, and Twenty One Pilots.