Missy Elliott is a living icon. No matter the time, her music and videos are always relevant. Missy is a cross-generational star. Missy Elliott has defined herself as avant-garde, and anyone who has followed her decades-long career would deem it a befitting descriptor. She has shown the world how empowering creativity can be. From the first time we saw her dancing and rhyming we knew that she was destined to be a superstar - and destiny has fulfilled itself many times over. Missy Elliott has inspired people across a plethora of fields, and her work is nowhere near done. For thirty years, she's been directing the global soundscape, visually reinventing herself and redefining pop music.
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Her six-song medley was a thrill-ride of kaleidoscopic visuals, VMAdancers and costume changes: Elliott was a cyberqueen, a B-girl, a scarecrow, an airborne beachball, a one-woman advertisement for what pop music can be. The performance, marking her video vanguard award, instantly went viral, capped a year of honours an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music, the first female rapper in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and coincided with the Iconology EP, her first new body of work since It dazzled the uninitiated while reminding millions of older fans what a vital creative force the year-old was and how much we had missed her.
She requested a moment to gather herself. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, and tears began to fall freely over her smiling face. She opened her eyes. She began to speak to the graduating class, herself among them, just before being awarded an honorary doctorate.