Nicki Minaj meets her 'Barbz' outside Manchester hotel after Co-op Live gig cancelled following arrest

Nicki Minaj outside the Royal Exchange Hotel
-Credit: (Image: X/Instagram)

This was the moment Nicki Minaj met hundreds of her most devoted fans in Manchester at the end of a dramatic evening. The US star had been due to perform in front of a sell-out crowd at Co-op Live last night (May 25).

But with hours to go before the show began, the 41-year-old was arrested by police in Amsterdam after allegedly trying to take 'soft drugs' from Schiphol Airport to another country, Dutch police stated. Minaj was later released, fined and allowed to fly to Manchester.

Loyal fans - known as 'Barbz' - were already inside Co-op Live ahead of the planned show, yet at 9.35pm they were told the gig was cancelled. Some told the Manchester Evening News they were 'raging' and 'betrayed' as they left the city's new venue, with one adding: "I've handed my Barb notice in."

READ MORE: Furious Nicki Minaj fans 'raging and betrayed' after Co-op Live gig cancelled

Yet in an attempt to soften the bruising disappointment, Minaj posted on X at 1.17am to reveal where she was staying in Manchester, at the Stock Exchange Hotel. A further post at 1.33am added: "To my #GagCityManchester Barbz, I’m going on the balcony so if you’re outside I’ll be able to see you & I may come downstairs.

"I’ll be out there for about an hour. Rlly wanted to at least get to see you. But if you’re in bed plz STAY THERE. I’ll update you guys tmrw. Love you"

Eleven minutes later, she wrote: "I hear yall. How did yall get here so fast?!? Finally a smile. Thank you. 2 mins. But not so loud. It’s almost 2 in the morning ppl tryna sleep"

Minaj went on to meet her fans outside the Stock Exchange Hotel's entrance. Footage shared on social media showed her wearing a pink jacket, Louis Vuitton hat and sunglasses as she told her fans: "Barbz, I wanted to honestly tell you that I love you... and I'm so sorry."

Supporters of Minaj packed out the street outside and could be heard shouting 'we love you' to the pop star. In one video, a security guard for Minaj can be heard shouting: "Nicki said calm down. If you don't shut up, she's going inside."

As she broke her silence on her arrest, Minaj wrote that she was detained for 'five to six hours' before being allowed to leave for Manchester. She said she had to wait a further 20 minutes after boarding, before her 50-minute flight, and that she wanted to wait until the last moment to give a 90-minute show - which she claimed could have been 'until 11.30pm'.

Minaj wrote: "Please please please accept my deepest & most sincere apologies. They sure did know exactly how to hurt me today but this too, shall pass."

She continued: "we will have another date for tonight’s show shortly & I’ll probably be able to share it tmrw. 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 tkt for this show. Promise."

Minaj performs in Birmingham tonight (Sunday) and returns to Co-op Live on May 30. A new date for last night's show is yet to be announced.