Missy Elliott has officially been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The creative mastermind was inducted by Queen Latifah on Thursday (June 13), making her the first female hip-hop artist to achieve such a high honor.
Queen Latifah and former First Lady Michelle Obama both spoke very highly of Missy during her induction ceremony in New York City. “Missy, I want to thank you for all of your trailblazing ways,” Obama said in a taped video that aired during the event. “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.”
After a glowing tribute from Lizzo and Da Brat – who performed Missdemeanor’s 90s hit, Sock It 2 Me” – the rapper took the stage to give a heartfelt speech.
“I am thankful,” she said before breaking down in tears. “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 continued: “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.”
Missy joins an elite group of songwriters. Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri were both inducted in 2017 and 2018, respectively. While Elliott has written hit after hit for her own music catalog, the rapper has also penned a number of classics for Aaliyah, Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, and more.