Nicki Minaj is booked and busy following the release of her latest album, Pink Friday 2, but made a quick stop at Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live for the Thursday (Dec. 14) episode to talk about one of her major personal influences, as well as what the Barbz can expect from the global trek for her new record.
“I don’t think people realize how much singing or singers like Whitney [influenced me]. Whitney’s first album, I know it front to back,” she told Cohen of the late singer. “I was such a little kid, but I would be with my aunt all the time on the weekends and we would play it on the actual turntable, and it was one of the most fun parts of my childhood, so I have a real connection to her. And Diana Ross because my mom would always play Diana and the Supremes in the house, too.”
Minaj is in good company with Houston. With summer smash “Barbie World,” the Queens native’s 23rd Billboard Hot 100 top 10, she tied Whitney Houston for the sixth most among women overall in the chart’s history. During the 41-year-old’s 2022 Video Vanguard acceptance speech, she wished Houston were still alive and that “people took mental health seriously.”
Elsewhere during the “Barbie World” rapper’s Watch What Happens Live appearance, she discussed her upcoming world tour and what fans can expect to see in the setlist.
“I’ve done three world tours by now, so my fans know the material, so my focus on this tour will definitely be the new album, creating a world of that album and sprinkling everything else around that,” she explained. “But of course we’re still going to have the same fun with our throwbacks like we always do. I always make sure I perform my rap stuff, my pop stuff, like, everyone enjoys themselves. I make sure my fans feel well fed at the show.”
The Pink Friday 2 World Tour will kick off on March 1 in Oakland, Calif., and will make stops throughout the United States and Europe before concluding on June 7 in Berlin.
Watch Minaj on Watch What Happens Live in the videos below.