Missy Elliott in Tears, Makes History at Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction
"I am thankful," Missy Elliott said during her emotional speech at her induction to the Songwriters' Hall of Fame with no less than Michelle Obama and Queen Latifah paying tribute to her.
Missy Elliott became the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame and she accepted the recognition in tears.
CELEBRITIES CELEBRATE ELLIOTT'S HISTORICAL ACHIEVEMENT
On Thursday, the 47-year-old gave an emotional speech expressing how grateful she was to be part of the prestigious roster of songwriters. She’s only the third rapper to ever be inducted following Jay-Z in 2017 and Jermaine Dupri in 2018.
Elliott’s good friend Queen Latifah, former first lady Michelle Obama, Da Brat and Lizzo were all on hand for the rapper’s historical moment. Latifah lauded her for her contributions spanning two-decades. The “Work It” singer has not only written hits for herself, but she’s also the writer behind some of the chart-toppers of Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Aaliyah, and Beyonce.
"Thank you not for just sharing your gift with the world, but for being an advocate for so many people out there."
Obama, in a pre-recorded video aired during the induction, thanked the singer for sharing her talent to the world and being a voice for others.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Da Brat and Lizzo paid tribute to the rapper by performing their version of Elliott’s “Sock It 2 Me.”
"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."
HER EMOTIONAL SPEECH
“I am thankful,” Elliott said when she took the stage for her speech during the induction ceremony.
“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.” Elliott teared up as she continued her speech in the midst of applause from the audience.
She also had a message for other writers and those aspiring to be one.
“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.”
THAT'S DR. ELLIOTT TO YOU
Elliott’s entry into the hall of fame is indeed big for hip-hop and the second big leap for the songwriting artist who recently celebrated another historic milestone in her life. She became the first female rapper to ever receive an honorary doctorate degree at Berklee College of Music.
The Boston college which has handed out the same recognition to Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, BB King, and Loretta Lynn acknowledged Elliott as a “groundbreaking superstar, pioneering producer, songwriter, singer, and rapper.” Addressing the students during her acceptance speech, Dr. Elliott advised them to prepare for the “ups and downs,” herself experiencing a roller coaster of events in her life.
"The celebrated rapper opened up about the autoimmune disease that she continues to live with today. “I’m walking… by the grace of God,” she said.
LIVING WITH A RECURRING ILLNESS
One of those downs happened in 2008 when Elliott was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, the same illness Wendy Williams admitted to having. While accepting her Essence Visionary Award last year, the rapper opened up about the autoimmune disease that she continues to live with today. “I’m walking… by the grace of God,” she said after explaining how sick she got due to the illness. “I couldn’t even lift a pen,” she said. “My nervous system had broken all the way down.”
According to the Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation’s website, two to three percent of the population is affected by Graves’ Disease and it is five to ten times more common in women than men. The condition which is characterized by the overproduction of thyroid hormones, also known as hyperthyroidism can attack the nervous system and cause weight loss, emotional swings, mental and physical fatigue.
Though she lives with the disease, Elliott is proof that it is not an obstacle to greatness. She’s an inspiration to many who may think that illness is a sign of weakness because she drew strength from it and emerged victoriously.