Popular hip-hop star Juice Wrld died just days after his 21st birthday. He went into cardiac arrest at the airport and died in a Chicago hospital. Buzz60
Nicki Minaj paid tribute to the Juice Wrld during Billboard's Women in Music Event Thursday night.
In her acceptance speech for the game changer award, the rap diva, 37, called the late rapper a "kindred spirit."
"Looking back now, I wish I did something differently or said something to help,” she said. “He spoke to me in detail about how in love he was with his girlfriend and how passionate he was about music and when he was in the studio with me, he did so many songs so quickly. He was honest and pure about what he felt and that inspired me.”
She also recalled how the young rapper, who died Sunday at the age of 21, helped calm her before a performance when they toured together.
"While we walked to the stage, he held my hand and told me to stay calm and to pray," she said. "He said he had been trying to do just that. I was so shocked to hear him of all people tell me that, but right there in that moment with him telling me that, I actually did feel calm."
Minaj said that she knew the event was focused on women in music, but added that she needed to bring up the rapper because "it doesn't feel comfortable for me to talk about me when someone so important to our culture just died."
The cause of death of the rising young rapper, who suffered a medical emergency Sunday at Chicago’s Midway International Airport, is still pending after an autopsy Monday.
But Chicago police said Monday that city, state and federal agents searched luggage on his plane and allegedly found large quantities of marijuana and some suspected liquid cocaine.
Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff, Maria Puente