US rap trailblazer Missy Elliot was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 8th November. Singers Ciara and Lizzo were at the ceremony to introduce the ‘Work It’ singer as she became the proud owner of the 2,708th spot on the legendary walkway. The 50-year-old rapper shared a picture of herself with her star on social media, saying she was grateful for the honour.
“I’ve come here 20-something years ago and just used to walk past all these stars and just imagine,” Elliott said during an emotional acceptance speech outside Amoeba Records on Hollywood Boulevard. “It’s just a blessing to dream big and it truly happened. I’m truly standing here.”
“I kind of give this to my female MCs in hip-hop, to my sisters in hip-hop. I wanna say I love each and everyone of y’all. The ones that’s popping now, the ones that’s about to be popping,” Elliott added.
“But I want to give a big, big shoutout to the godmothers of this, and that is Queen Latifah, Monie Love, Sha-Rock, Angie Stone, Roxanne Shanté, Yo-Yo, MC Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa. I know I’m probably missing some, but all of y’all that started before me, because y’all are the backs that we stand on. Y’all are the foundation. Y’all ran so we could walk, y’all stood up for something so we could sit comfortably, so I thank y’all for this moment.”
In an interview before receiving her Walk of Fame star, Elliot talked about how she felt regarding the honour.
“When you get to this place in your career, when you get to be amongst so many stars, it’s a blessing,” she told Variety. “Even when people might think I’d taken off, I was still working constantly and never had the chance to realise what I’ve done to get me to this place. So I am thankful that I’m here, and to everyone who thought I can be amongst these stars, I am grateful for sure.”
Elliott was introduced by her manager of 25 years, Mona Scott-Young, along with ‘Lose Control’ collaborator Ciara and Lizzo, who all gave speeches honouring the rapper.
“She paved the way for me and so many others who followed. There is no one like Missy,” Ciara said as Elliott stood, visibly moved, beside her.
“She oozes with boundless creativity, a visionary, the epitome of true artistry. Strength, integrity and grit. She created genre-blurring sounds of a modern hitmaker that continues to define space and time.”
During her speech, Lizzo called Elliott “the brightest star in the universe” and talked about having watched the rapper from an early age. “I watched you my entire life, and I saw a superstar in you, but I also saw myself,” a tearful Lizzo told Elliott.
“I’d never seen myself before. You lived so boldly and so beautifully and so unapologetically, so out loud. You have no idea what you have done for so many Black girls.”
“Missy Elliott has broken through the barriers of the male-dominated Hip Hop world, and music industry as a whole, as she has led the way for many women who have followed in her footsteps. She continues to break barriers year after year and we’re thrilled to be able to honour her on the Walk of Fame,” said Ana Martinez, Hollywood Walk of Fame Producer, in a statement.
Elliot, who is also a songwriter and record producer has sold more than 30 million records in the US. In 2019, she became the first female rapper to be inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Elliott has released six studio albums, from 1997 debut ‘Supa Dupa Fly’ to 2005’s ‘The Cookbook’. She has won four Grammys – in 2002 for ‘Get Ur Freak On’, in 2003 for ‘Scream a.k.a. Itchin”, in 2004 for ‘Work It’ and in 2006 for ‘Lose Control’.