Missy Elliott, five-time Grammy-winning, singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer, was honored in the 50th annual Songwriters Hall of Fame 2019 induction ceremony, on Thursday night. She made history by becoming the first female rapper inducted.
At the ceremony, Queen Latifah inducted Elliott and gave a heartfelt speech on their friendship. Former first lady Michelle Obama also shared her appreciation for Elliott.
"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."
Elliott was brought to tears during her acceptance speech as she remembered her journey. "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. "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."
Alongside her were legendary British singer Cat Stevens and country-folk icon John Prine, who were also inducted for 2019.
Elliott has had many hits of her own but has also produced and written songs for many girl groups, pop and R&B soloists, including the late icon Aaliyah, Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Monica, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Ariana Grande, Destiny's Child, Fantasia, Jazmine Sullivan, SWV, Total, 702, and Mya, according to the Associated Press.
Elliott is the third rapper to be inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, joining Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri.