The "I Like It" rapper took the stage at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at NRG Stadium in Texas on Friday in a sexy pink cowgirl outfit to perform for 75,580 people -- the venue's most-attended show of all time. Garth Brooks held the previous record with 75,577 attendees, but it was Quintanilla whom Cardi credits for her recent success.
As the mom of one told fans on Instagram on Saturday, she was sick before taking the stage and wasn't even able to rehearse. However, once she saw a photo of the late Tejano singer backstage, she knew it was going to be a good night.
"Hey guys, I just want to say that I'm honored for beating the Houston Rodeo show [record]. I was so nervous to perform in front of 75,000 plus people, but when I saw this picture, out of all the outfits that she wore, for me to see this picture with this outfit, this was the inspiration for 'Please Me,' I knew I was going to be all right," she said, pointing to a photo of Quintanilla on the wall in front of her dressing room.
"I love you, b**ch!" Cardi yelled, before singing and dancing along to "Como la Flor."
Houston holds a special place in Cardi's heart, as the rapper revealed that it's the first place she and husband Offset went on a date. She also felt welcomed by the city for her other talents. "I remember the first time I came to Houston, I came out here to strip and people showed me maaaaaa love," she wrote on Instagram.
She couldn't help but give a shout-out to her past as an exotic dancer during her set on Friday. “The purpose of the rodeo is to collect money, to give scholarships out,” Cardi told the crowd. “Any job you pick, whether it’s a doctor … or a f**king stripper, you gonna need some education.”
Cardi isn't the only artist who paid tribute to Quintanilla at the Houston Rodeo. Kacey Musgraves, fresh off her success at the GRAMMYs, covered "Como la Flor" at the event on Monday -- and earned the approval of the icon's family.
"Awww this makes me wanna shed a tear! Takes me back," Quintanilla's sister, Suzette, wrote on Instagram. "A Big Big Thank you @spaceykacey for the love at the Houston Rodeo tonite with that SELENA Y LOS DINOS Jam!"
See more on the undying love for the Queen of Tejano music in the video below.