While Nicki accepted the inaugural Game-Changer award, she spoke about how she recently toured with the late rapper and recalled a moment the two shared when they walked to the stage one night; a moment she said she'll now never forget.
"He held my hand and told me to stay calm and to pray... I was shocked that he told me that, but right there in that moment, I actually did feel calm and wondered, 'Hm, what am I actually worried about?'' Nicki recalled.
She went on to call the 21-year-old rapper a "kindred spirit," saying she wished she'd said something to help him fight his demons.
Nicki added that Juice spoke in great detail about how in love he was with his girlfriend, and how passionate he was about music. "He was honest and pure about what he felt and that inspired me," she shared, before noting that she felt the need to pay tribute to Juice while receiving her award because he deserved to be honored in front of his peers.
"I know this is a Women in Music night, and I'm honored to be in the presence of all these women... but it doesn't feel comfortable to talk about me when someone so important to our culture died," Nicki told the audience.
The "Tusa" rapper then spoke generally about drugs and those who struggle with addiction. "It's important not to pass judgment so people aren't ashamed to speak out and ask for help," she encouraged. "I just came here tonight to ask people to be a little more forgiving and understanding, especially with entertainers. We can't have a bad day."
Nicki concluded her speech saying, "I just wanted to encourage everyone to talk about whatever it is they need to talk about, and be honest and open and get help."
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