An unnamed backing dancer for Nicki Minaj was bitten by a snake during a performance of her new single ‘Anaconda’ while rehearsing for the MTV VMA Awards on Friday.
Despite the song’s name, it was a boa constrictor named Rocky who bit the dancer, not an anaconda. The dancer was treated for the wound on site, but was taken to hospital. Viacom Media’s director of production safety Chris Velvin said: “We showed an abundance of caution.” Velvin emphasised that Rocky was a non-venomous and non-life threatening breed of snake.
The snake’s handler said Rocky had been used for showbusiness performances for 15 years, and that this was the first time he had bitten anyone. A different snake will be used during Minaj’s performance at the VMAs, which take place tomorrow (August 24).
Other VMA performers at the ceremony at Inglewood Forum in California include Usher, Maroon 5, Charli XCX, Ariana Grande, 5 Seconds Of Summer and Iggy Azalea with Rita Ora.
‘Anaconda’ is the second single from Minaj’s upcoming third album ‘The Pinkprint’, following ‘Pills N Potions’. The album has yet to be given a release date, though Minaj has said it will be in the fourth quarter of 2014. Confirmed producers on the album are Dr Luke, Polow da Don, Da Internz, Cirkut and Detail.