Before the ceremony had even aired, it was already clear that Nicki Minaj would be one of the biggest talking points of Monday's MTV VMAs.
In the past week, Minaj has used her Twitter account (which has over 20 million followers) to lash out at Spotify, sexism and fellow rapper Travis Scott. Meanwhile her fourth album, Queen, which was released on August 10, took aim at rappers such as 50 Cent, Drake and her former boyfriend Meek Mill.
The Anaconda rapper may have found herself surrounded in controversy over the past few weeks, but it's hardly a new experience for her. Minaj is not like most pop stars – frantic outbursts are a pretty regular occurrence for the Trinidad-born rapper, who is in no way afraid of speaking her mind or standing her ground.
Just two years into her career Minaj found herself at odds with diva Mariah Carey while both were appearing on the judging panel for American Idol. The issue –- Carey reportedly kept "throwing digs" at the rapper for being "unqualified" for the role.
In recorded footage of an argument during filming Minaj is heard shouting at Carey, "I'm not f------ putting up with her f------ highness....Off with your head." They say start as you mean to go on, and that seems to be exactly the case with Minaj.
Here, we've gathered some of Minaj's best quotes over the years, from the outrageous to the enlightened and plain hilarious.
On Spotify punishing her, and not other male rappers, for working with Apple:
In an angry rant to Twitter last week, Minaj took aim at the streaming giant: "Spotify had to teach me a lesson but rewarded the man [Travis Scott] who has had an Apple radio show the longest; inadvertently helping the Apple platform the most.
"Oh I can’t wait for #QueenRadio [her Apple Music radio show] on Tuesday. They took away my promotion they had promised for the first couple of days because of this."
She continued: "Spotify put Drake’s face on every playlist but told me they’d have to teach me a lesson for playing my music 10 mins early on
#QueenRadio. Even though they’ve been giving away my music for free for years & I am one of the top Spotify artists of all time."
On her Harriett–Tubman–style leadership in challenging Spotify:
The rapper sparked fury when she compared herself to American slave emancipator and abolitionist Harriet Tubman on Twitter: "All the QUEENS I remember, SHOOK S--- UP!!!!!!!! Queen of the week may go to HARRIET TUBMAN!!!!!! Had she just sat there & ate her rice, you n-----s history would’ve been a lot less triumphant."
"Y’all I had no idea Harriet Tubman was now trending...She said she could’ve rescued more slaves had they known they were slaves. I fought for streaming services to count toward billboard when a lot of n-----s stayed quiet."
On Kylie Jenner promoting her boyfriend Travis Scott's album Astroworld:
"I put my blood sweat & tears in writing a dope album only for Travis Scott to have Kylie Jenner post a tour pass telling people to come see her and Stormi [the child she shares with Scott]. Lol," she tweeted.
"I'm actually laughing. #Queen broke the record of being number 1 in 86 countries. Thank Jesus & thank you to my fans."
On the provocative cover art for her new album, Queen:
When asked by Stephen Colbert how she felt about her cover image being blurred, the star joked: "Would you blur the Mona Lisa?"
On women owning their sexuality:
"Women should be allowed to be as hardcore and sexual as we want, because men do it all the time."
"I stand for girls wanting to be sexy and dance, but also having a strong sense of themselves. You got a big ol' butt? Shake it! Who cares? That doesn't mean you shouldn't be graduating from college."
On being a woman in the male-dominated industry:
"When you're a girl, you have to be everything. You have to be dope at what you do but you have to be super sweet. And you have to be sexy and you have to be this and you have to be that and you have to be nice. It's like, I can't be all those things at once. I'm a human being."
In October 2017, Minaj tweeted: "In any field, women must work TWICE as hard to even get HALF the respect her male counterparts get. When does this stop?"
"Putting people in the same sentence as me after my 10 years of consistent winning. What are you teaching them? They’d never do this to a man."
On fellow rapper Cardi B:
Newcomer Cardi B, has long faced comparisons with fellow female rapper Nicki Minaj, due to the fact that they are both, well, female. Although both have insisted that there is no "beef" between them, recent developments seem to suggest otherwise.
When Bodak Yellow topped the US Billboard chart in September 2017, Minaj tweeted Cardi to congratulate her: "Congratulations to a fellow New Yorker on a RECORD BREAKING achievement. Bardi, this is the only thing that matters!!! Enjoy it," she said.
However, earlier this month, during her Apple Music Radio show Queen, Minaj said of Cardi: “To me, she may have taken an issue with things that I’ve said, but I’m not going to bite my tongue. You gotta have thick skin. People talk s--- about me all the time. You can’t be expect to be liked and loved and praised all the f------ time. Give me a break.”
On her close friend (and rumoured lover) Drake:
The pair have had a close friendship and have been surrounded by romantic rumours for years. In 2010, after the pair joked about being married, Minaj shot down the rumours:
"Obviously, Drake and I, we’ve played around so much with the whole marriage thing and stuff like that, so people have come to be kind of intrigued about us.
On her 2014 single featuring Drake and Lil Wayne, Only, Minaj raps: "I never f----- Wayne I never f------ Drake. All my life, man, f----- sake."
On the track Barbie Dreamz from her 2018 album Queen, she poked fun at the Canadian rapper: "Drake worth a hundred milli, he always buyin' me s---. But I don't know if the p---- wet or if he cryin' and s---."
On Miley Cyrus:
After being snubbed for the Video of the Year award at the 2015 VMAs, despite releasing videos for both Anaconda and Feeling Myself from her album The Pinkprint, Minaj launched into a rant on Twitter in which she appeared to accuse the awards ceremony of being racially biased.
"I think there’s a way you speak to people with openness and love...You [Minaj] made it all about you. Not to sound like a bitch, but that’s like, “Eh, I didn’t get my VMA.""
Minaj famously addressed Cyrus at the 2015 VMAs after winning the Rap Video of the Year award, as she said: "Now back to this b---- that had a lot to say about me the other day in the press – Miley, what’s good?”
“We all do interviews, and we all know how they can be manipulated,” Miley said in response. She added: “Congratu–f-----–lations, Nicki.”
On Taylor Swift's work:
At the 2015 VMAs Swift's Bad Blood, which featured a line–up of top models, was nominated for the video of the year award while Minaj was snubbed. The same day the rapper tweeted: "If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for video of the year."
However, in 2017 she praised Swift on Instagram: “Taylor and I were tied but thanks to you guys, Run Up debuted on the Hot 100 this week, so I was able to inch past her a bit. Did u know she’s a [Sagittarius] like ya girl? Her, Britney, Christina Aguilera. Yup! Love them all.”
On young fans and her explicit lyrics:
When asked how she felt about young fans listening to her explicit music during an appearance on the Ellen Degeneres show in 2012, the rapper said: "I don't have to deal with it, I'm not their parents."
But in an interview with the Guardian's Weekend magazine in 2013, she explained: "I don't want children cursing. I'm very strict on my nieces and my little brother. They have to listen to clean versions of music."
On her surprising favourite artist:
During an appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the star said: "I love Enya, I listen to her all the time."
"It's so peaceful and it helps me with harmonies," she said. [When I'm in the recording studio] I just tap into my Enya knowledge and I do my little harmonies. My inner Enya...I would love to meet her, I love her so much."
On accusations of plastic surgery:
"If I was to get my nose done... it would not have this lump...and it would not be pointy...I would get a shorter one, kind of piggy looking...because I've always been attracted to that kind of nose," she said while addressing surgery rumours.
On American politicians and big butts:
After performing her single Anaconda at the TIME 100 gala in 2016, Minaj asked: "Who do you think likes the biggest butts, Donald Trump or Joe Biden?"
Unsurprisingly, Stephen Colbert was quick to jump at the chance to find out her opinion on the highly contended topic.
I'm guessing that it would be Biden for obvious reasons...Any time a white person gets the pass that they can be invited to the cookout [a term African Americans use to state that non-black people are welcome to their community] that probably means they like big butts."
"He's permanently invited to the cookout because he showed love to our love Obama and they worked so well together. He also just seems so genuine and I find that genuine men like big butts."