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  • Award winning, hip-hop artist and songwriter, Missy Elliot

    Award winning, hip-hop artist and songwriter, Missy Elliot | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 June 2019

A pioneer in hip-hop history, Elliot’s gift for lyricism has been widely recognized for over two decades.

Music history was made Thursday after Missy Elliot was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame as the first female hip hop artist and third rapper to receive the honor.

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The ceremony kicked off with performances from up-and-coming, singer-rapper Lizzo and Chicago’s own Da Brat, and was later followed by congratulatory messages from actor and singer, Queen Latifa, as well as the former first lady, Michelle Obama.

In a recorded message, Obama said, "Missy, I want to thank you for all of your trailblazing ways. 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."

Latifa described her life-long friend as "one of the most significant female artists in contemporary music history."

A pioneer in hip-hop history, Elliot’s gift for lyricism has been widely recognized for over two decades.

In a statement, the Songwriters Hall of Fame said: "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."

Born in Virginia as Melissa Arnette Elliott, has dedicated twenty years to changing the face of hip-hop and breaking social barriers with her outstanding lyrics for not only her own records, but also for Beyonce, Aaliyah, Destiny’s Child, Busta Rhymes, TLC, Timbaland and Ariana Grande.

On receiving her award, Elliot said, "I want to say one thing to 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," she said.

Classic artists Dallas Austin, Tom T. Hall, John Prine, Jack Tempchin and Yusuf / Cat Stevens were also inducted in the hall of fame Thursday.

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