Nicki Minaj addressed fans outside Manchester hotel after gig axed

Nicki Minaj addressed fans outside her Manchester hotel after her gig in the city was axed following her arrest.

The rapper and singer, 41, was detained at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Saturday and says she spent around six hours in custody before leaving the Netherlands for the UK.

Fans were let into the Co-op Live Arena for her show at around 7pm on Saturday, before the promoter Live Nation announced at around 9.40pm that it would be postponed.

In a message on social media site X, Minaj said she had arrived at her hotel in Manchester early on Sunday after spending “5-6 hours” in a cell and a delay to her flight from Amsterdam.

Minaj invited her fans, known as Barbz, to her hotel in the centre of the city and according to videos on social media she then spoke to the crowds outside.

She told them: “I wanted to honestly tell you that I love you.”

On X, she wrote the venue was “willing to go past 11pm”, and she pointed the finger at unidentified figures who she said had “succeeded at their plan to not let me get on that stage tonight”.

She said a new date for the show would be announced on Sunday.

She wrote: “One July option & one June option is currently being discussed. “I’ll find a way to not only make up the date with the performance but I’m going to create an added bonus for everyone that had a (ticket) for this show. Promise.”

Minaj said she will continue with her other scheduled shows, including in Birmingham on Sunday and a second night at the Co-op Live Arena on Thursday.

The MET Gala 2024 – New York
Nicki Minaj at the Met Gala (Matt Crossick/PA)

A statement from Live Nation said on Saturday: “Despite Nicki’s best efforts to explore every possible avenue to make tonight’s show happen, the events of today have made it impossible.

“We are deeply disappointed by the inconvenience this has caused.”

Trinidad-born Minaj, who grew up in the US and is known for the songs Starships, Super Bass and Anaconda, livestreamed being arrested and claimed that drugs were found in her luggage, which did not belong to her.

Dutch police said a woman, 41, was arrested on Saturday after allegedly trying to take what it described as “soft drugs” from Schiphol Airport to another country.

An update from the force at around 9pm said it had released the “suspect and she can now move on” after paying a fine.

This is the latest postponed gig at Co-op Live Arena, which has been plagued by issues since trying to open in April, and having to reschedule its first official gig several times.

US rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie moved his performance to rival AO Arena over the delays, and Co-op Live began having live music shows from May 14, when British rock band Elbow took to the stage.