Missy Elliott Becomes First Black American Female Rapper to Receive An Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music

Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott receives an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of music in Boston. Dr. Elliott was recognized for her decade of groundbreaking artistry across varieties of musical genres. The 10-time Grammy Award winner was awarded an honorary doctor of music degree on Friday night.

The black American rapper became the first in history to receive an honorary doctorate from the prestigious institution. Berklee called Elliot a “groundbreaking solo superstar, songwriter, singer, pioneering producer, rapper and singer”.

While addressing the graduates, Dr. Elliott said, “there will be times of ups and downs, and you have to be prepared for them”.

She narrated her own ups and downs, such as being dropped from a label, losing awards, and becoming ill. She then encouraged graduates to be patient through the struggle and to never give up on themselves.

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“As long as you still have breath in you, it is never too late. Don’t forget that. You have come too far to quit”. The “Work it” rapper reacted to the news on Instagram by sharing a video of herself wearing her cap and gown, showing off her degree. She used the caption, “Create your own Lane!!!” “Sincerely Dr. Missy Elliott…. “.

Elliott received the award degree alongside Justin Timberlake and award-winning Broadway performer and composer Alex Lacamoire. Alex however, was a previous student of the institution. All three received the honorary doctor’s degree of music for their influences in music, and for their enduring global impact. Previous artists recognized by the institution for their creativity are the likes of B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, and Loretta Lynn.

Since the beginning of the year, things have been in favor of Elliott. She also became the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this January.

Congratulations Dr. Elliott!