Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of FameMissy Elliott
Queen Latifah Inducts Missy Elliott Into The Songwriters Hall Of Fame, Lizzo Performs
Last November, GRAMMY winner hip-hop mainstay Missy Elliott made headlines as the first-ever female rapper nominated for the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. Last night, the all-around icon made history as she joined the 2019 class of inductees. She is just the third-ever rapper inducted, with GRAMMY winners JAY-Z and Jermaine Dupri preceding, becoming the first in 2017 and second in 2018, respectively.
Fellow GRAMMY-winning hip-hop heavyweight Queen Latifah presented Elliott with the award—and some loving words—during the ceremony held in New York. The evening was filled with a powerful energy, thanks to even more mega queens honoring Elliott, including the one and only Michelle Obama and rising rap goddess Lizzo.
Last night my heart was full latifah one of my besties your a Queen @lizzo @sosobrat my sisters merked it! AND @MichelleObama I LOVE YOU! You are AMAZING & FIERCE! I am humbly grateful the committee of Songwriters Hall of Fame and the other WONDERFUL inductees pic.twitter.com/3lxFcAqQ4J
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) June 14, 2019
"Missy, I want to thank you for all of your trailblazing ways," Obama said in the video message shared during the event, which Elliott also Tweeted out. "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."
Lizzo performed Elliott's classic 1997 mega-bop "Sock It 2 Me" while rocking an O.G.-Missy finger-wave hairstyle. GRAMMY-nominated rapper Da Brat joined her to hit her original bars on the Supa Dupa Fly track. As Lizzo strutted onto the stage, she shouted-out her idol:
"Missy, I want to thank you for inspiring young black girls like me to chase their dreams. I love you so much, I wouldn't be here without you. This is for you." Earlier this year, Lizzo got an assist from Elliott on her own fire track "Tempo."
Of course, Elliott had her own powerful words to add, offering gratitude for the honor. "I cry because it's a lot to take in. I'm thankful, humbled. I'm grateful to be up here with so many geniuses in this room, I've met so many people that I looked up to, and still look up to, as songwriters and producers," she said during her acceptance speech, which you can watch a clip of, along with part of Lizzo's performance, in the above video.
She continued: "I want to say one thing to the writers, to the upcoming writers, '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."
In addition to all the amazing songs she's penned for herself, Missy's also written songs for an impressive list of artists. As ABC News points out, that list includes major music players like Aaliyah, Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande and many others.
The 2019 Songwriters Hall of Fame class of inductees, who became eligible after putting in at least 20 years of hit-writing, also included GRAMMY-nominated singer Yusuf/Cat Stevens and GRAMMY-winning folk legend John Prine.
Jack Tempchin, a writer for the Eagles and GRAMMY winner Dallas Austin, a co-writer and producer behind many of TLC and other artists' hits, were also inducted last night. GRAMMY winner Justin Timberlake and GRAMMY-nominated pop star Halsey were honored with other awards during the ceremony, receiving the Contemporary Icon Award and Hal David Starlight Award, for "gifted" young songwriters, respectively.