Missy Elliott became the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on Thursday in New York City, marking a watershed moment in the enigmatic performer’s decades-long career.
Elliott’s honor makes her the third rapper to be inducted following Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri. Elliott’s friends and collaborators, rapper Da Brat and Lizzo performed high-energy tributes to the entertainer.
Queen Latifah presented her friend Elliott with the honor and spoke on their close friendship. And even our forever FLOTUS, Michelle Obama, shared her thoughts regarding the impact of Elliott’s work.
“Missy, I want to thank you for all of your trailblazing ways,” Obama said in a pre-taped video. “Thank you not for just sharing your gift with the world, but for being an advocate for so many people out there, especially young girls who are still figuring out how to make their voices heard.”
“I am thankful,” Missy said, taking a long pause after she approached the podium. “Every time I come up to a podium, even with all the work that I’ve done, I don’t know, and I’m assuming it’s just God, I don’t know why I am here,” she said as she held back tears. “I want to say one thing to the writers, to the upcoming writers, ‘Do not give up.’ We all go through writer’s block. Sometimes you just have to walk away from a record and come back to it. But don’t give up because I’m standing here. And this is big for hip-hop, too.”
Other inductees of the night included Dallas Austin, Tom T. Hall, Jack Tempchin and Yusuf/Cat Stevens.
For over 20 years we’ve been blessed with the creative super force that is Missy Elliott. She’s produced for your favorite and your favorites fave’s, including Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Ciara and Monica and helped forge the careers of some of the most impactful artists like Aaliyah, Tweet and Ginuwine. To put it plainly, her pen game is endless. She has created some of the most genre bending videos filled with visuals that stem from another universe or in her wildest dreams.
Let’s continue to honor those who give so much of themselves through the medium of art for the sake of their fans. Congrats Missy!