HIP HOP star Nicki Minaj has paid tribute to DCU student Nicola Furlong who was found murdered in a Tokyo hotel after attending her concert in Japan last week.
The Wexford business student’s body was discovered just hours after she had watched the Starships hit-maker perform live at Zepp Toyko.
Minaj wrote: "Saddened to learn one of my precious fans; found tragically murdered in Japan. My love & prayers are with the family of Nicola Furlong."
She also tweeted a picture of Nicola (21) at a birthday and later corrected Perez Hilton who had claimed that the two American men under arrest in connection with the incident, were her backing dancers.
“My dancers had nothing to do with this tragedy. No one in my entourage was questioned or arrested. They all flew home from Japan.”
Nicola, described by her father Andrew as a ‘homebird’, sent a text to her mother in Co Wexford hours before her death as she attended the Nicki Minaj concert.
Her body arrived back in Ireland today as American dancer James Blackston and an unnamed 19-year-old musician continue to be held by police in Tokyo on charges of indecently assaulting her friend.
Nicola’s heartbroken mother Angela revealed: “She sent me a text message before the concert saying: ‘We put on our fake tan, all our shaving is done we are ready to go now mam, talk to you soon. Ten weeks and I’ll be back in Ireland’.
Mrs Furlong told the Irish Mirror that Nicola (21) said she was going to get invited to the US singer’s after-party.
She told of the family’s grief: “The news that your daughter is dead is very, very hard to accept. But the hardest of all was on the Saturday morning to hear what had actually happened to my baby. That was worse than actually hearing that she was dead.
“When we received the news that was worse. That was really, really, really worse.
“I knew there had been an accident and I hoped it was a car crash that she had been killed instantly. She was so tiny and it had given her a heart attack. Nobody would hurt my baby.”
Her heartbroken mother added: “She was my baby, she will always be my baby. She was beautiful inside and out. She loved her two sisters, her mam and her dad.”
She told how Nicola, the oldest in the family, guided her two sisters Andrea (18) and Hannah (12) and they would spend hours over cups of tea talking and talking.
Speaking to the Irish Daily Mail, Mrs Furlong said: “She loved life, she loved fashion. She was a girly girl. She was an amazing girl.”
It is understood that police in Japan are preparing to charge the unnamed 19-year-old musician with the sexual assault and killing of Nicola last Wednesday night at the Keio Plaza hotel.
Ms Furlong was studying at the Takasaki City University of Economics in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, about 95km northwest of Tokyo.
She and her friend went to Tokyo's Koto Ward for a concert on Wednesday night and were approached by the two men afterwards.
They had a meal together and then went to the hotel where the men were staying.
At around 3.20am on Thursday, a guest complained about a loud noise coming from one of the rooms.
A hotel employee went to the room and found Ms Furlong lying on the floor near the bed with the 19-year-old American man standing nearby.
- Independent.ie reporters