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Nicki Minaj: 'Big Ang was a vibrant, genuine spirit'

Nicki Minaj led tributes to Mob Wives star Big Ang after her death on Thursday (19Feb16).

The reality star, whose real name was Angela Raiola, passed away aged 55 following a battle against stage four cancer.


Nicki was quick to remember Big Ang in a touching post on her Instagram page, with an image showing the star with her arms outstretched, spinning around a huge smile on her face.


"Such a vibrant, loving, genuine spirit #BigAng," Nicki captioned the picture.


Ex Jersey Shore star Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi also paid tribute to Big Ang with a picture of herself and the late star together, writing: "Such a beautiful soul taken so quickly ...we all love you big Ang. You're contagious personality will live on forever my love ! Prayers for her family."


Meanwhile, it has been revealed that despite their differences on the show, the entire cast of Mob Wives will unite at Brooklyn's Scarpaci Funeral Home this weekend (20-21Feb16) along with the star's family to remember her before she is buried.


According to Page Six, Drita D'Avanzo was the last castmember to see Big Ang before her passing.


"Drita was at the hospital along with Ang's family as she passed," a source told the outlet. "Everyone will drop their differences to remember Big Ang."


Despite incorrect reports of her death earlier in the week, Big Ang's passing was confirmed by her friend Vinnie Medugno.


A statement posted on Big Ang's Twitter page read: "It is with sad regret that we inform you that at 3:01AM Angela Raiola peacefully ended her battle with cancer, and was called home. She was surrounded by nothing but love from her immediate family, and closest friends. YOU, (Her fans) were some of most special people in her world, and she loved you immensely. Thank you for your love, prayers, and unconditional support of Angela right to the very end...


"The family asks for privacy, and peace during this most difficult time. In typical Big Ang fashion, we know she would say 'Love you my babies!'"


She was first diagnosed with throat cancer last April (15), at which point doctors removed a tumor in her throat. She later found out the disease had spread to her brain and lungs.


Big Ang is survived by her two children, Raquel and Anthony, and six grandchildren.