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This year has been nothing short of epic for Missy Elliott. In January she made history by becoming the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and in May she became the first woman hip-hop artist to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the Berklee College of Music. The Virginia-bred rapstress—whose real name is Melissa Arnette Elliott—recently hit another major career milestone. According to USA Today, she will be the recipient of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Elliott has continually pushed the envelope when it comes to her music and the visuals for her songs. She’s graced us with pivotal albums like Supa Dupa Fly, Under Construction, and The Cookbook and memorable music videos that include “The Rain,” “Work It,” and “Lose Control.” Her creativity, innovative spirit and courage to step outside of the box has cemented her as a legend in the music industry.

“Missy’s impact on the music landscape is indelible,” Bruce Gillmer, Head of Music and Music Talent, Viacom, said in a statement according to the Hollywood Reporter. “Her creative vision across production, performance and songwriting is unmatched.” Elliott has been honored several times throughout the years at the VMAs. She holds seven Moon Man awards. However, receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award is long overdue. She now joins a group of iconic stars who are all recipients of the award including Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez. Before the awards ceremony, there will be a pop-up museum held in New York City that will capture the essence of Elliott’s influence. Elliott’s reign won’t let up anytime soon. She has another album in the works.

The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards will take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey and is slated to air on Monday, August 26 at 9 p.m. ET.


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