Missy Elliott Makes History with Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music

Monica Otayza
May 14, 2019
04:31 P.M.

Everyone can now refer to Missy Elliot as Dr. Elliott, now that she's become the first female rapper to receive an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music.


Dr. Elliott is finally being recognized for more than a decade of stellar artistry in multiple music genres. The 10-time Grammy Award winner was provided with an honorary doctor of music degree last Saturday, May 11, at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.


Last Saturday's ceremony made Elliott the first female rapper in history to ever receive an honorary doctorate from the prestigious college. The school referred to Elliott as a "groundbreaking solo superstar, pioneering producer, songwriter, singer, and rapper."

Dr. Elliott's graduating speech

In a short but sweet speech, the singer told graduates that "there will be ups and downs - prepare for that." She herself did not get to the top so quickly, as she had her own share of ups and downs.

These included losing awards, being dropped from a label, becoming sick, and a lot more. She encouraged the Berklee graduates to be patient through all their struggles and to never give up on themselves.


"As long as you are breathing, it is never too late. Don’t forget that. You have come too far to quit.“

Sharing the big news

Missy made sure to share her new Doctorate Degree with all the people who made it happen: her fans. The "Work It" rapper shared the news on Instagram, showing herself in her cap and gown while showing off her certificate.



Aside from Elliott, Justin Timberlake and Broadway orchestrator Alex Lacamoire were also presented with doctorate degrees. Previous recipients include Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, B.B. King, and Loretta Lynn.

Big recognitions for Missy

It's been a wonderful past couple of months for Missy, as she not only received a doctorate degree but also an induction to the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Elliott also made history when she became the first female rapper to be inducted to the Songwriter Hall of Fame, and just the second rapper to be given the honor, joining Jay-Z who was awarded the recognition in 2017.

Keep doing you, Missy!

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