She has many laurels to her name on the account of her numerous musical contributions and achievements, especially in the American entertainment industry. She just added another feather to her cap yet,for being the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.
Nominated in November 2018 she was confirmed on January 13, alongside other artists such as Dallas Austin, Tom T. Hall, John Prine, Jack Tempchin & Yusuf / Cat Stevens.
According to the Songwriter Hall of Fame:
“One of the most significant female artists in contemporary music history, Missy Elliott is a groundbreaking solo superstar, pioneering songwriter-producer, and across-the-board cultural icon. The five-time GRAMMY® Award winner – with nominations spanning three decades – has attained unprecedented success, including U.S. sales in excess of 30 million. Missy’s six studio albums have each been RIAA platinum certified or better, marking her as the only female rapper to achieve that remarkable accomplishment”.
Missy joins Jay Z who was the first male rapper to be inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2017.
Born on July 1 in Virginia, Missy grew up in extreme poverty and hardship. She was a victim of domestic abuse by her father and was molested by a cousin when she was 8.
Elliot once said in a past interview
‘Once, he pulled a gun on us and forced us both outside naked. He was crazy like that. I lived in constant fear. I had friends but I never stayed at anyone’s house because I was scared that I would come home and find my mother dead. I remember seeing my mother crouched in the corner with her arm out of its socket. There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t think about it all,’ .
When she was 14, they run away from her father, heading up to Hodges Ferry neighborhood of Portsmouth, Virginia.
All through, Missy knew she had a musical talent and was sending letters to her idols, Michael and Janet Jackson, asking them to rescue her. Unfortunately, they never replied.
In Portsmouth, Missy formed Fayze (later named Sista), a music group with her friends, with Tim ‘Timbaland’ Mosley as their producer. They would be noticed by DeVante Swing of Jodeci. They ended up in New York and became part of Swing Mob.
By end of 1995, the group had dispersed and Missy and Timbaland worked together in various project including her debut album, Supa Dupa Fly, in 1997. She would write for artists such as Aaliyah, 702, SWV, and many other notable award-winning musicians.
Since then, she has been on the up, and has won a series of awards including five Grammy awards, BET and American Music awards among others.
In 2011, she was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease and was forced to stop her career for a while. She made her comeback in 2015 when she performed at the Super Bowl XLIX and united with former First Lady Michelle Obama in 2016 for “This Is For My Girls,” an all-star anthem to female empowerment.