Legendary rapstress and producer Missy Elliott has left an indelible mark in the realm of music and continues to push the industry forward through her innovative projects. Earlier this year Elliott—whose real name is Melissa Arnette Elliott—made history by becoming the first woman rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the historic honors are continuing to roll in. According to Kiro 7, the Berklee College of Music announced that the institution is awarding her with an honorary doctorate degree in music, making her the first woman hip-hop artist to receive the honor.
Elliott will be given the degree from the Massachusetts-based school during their commencement ceremony in May at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. The day prior to the graduation, the institution will host a concert where students will pay homage to honorary degree recipients through performances.
“This year’s honorary doctorate recipients are being recognized for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring global impact,” read a statement released by the school. “Missy Elliott is a groundbreaking solo superstar, pioneering producer, songwriter, singer, and rapper. The five-time Grammy Award–winner—with nominations spanning three decades—has achieved unprecedented success.”
The Virginia native is humbled to be honored by the prestigious institution. She took to Twitter to share her excitement with her fans. Among other individuals who are slated to receive honorary doctorate degrees alongside Elliott include Justin Timberlake and Alex Lacamoire. The musical innovators join a long list of legends who have been honored by the school. Past degree recipients include Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, Nile Rodgers and many other influential music artists.