Rapper Missy Elliott has become the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Fighting back tears, Melissa Elliott—her real name—received the honor from Queen Latifah, a rap pioneer from the previous generation.
Earlier, the academy broadcast a video in which former first lady Michelle Obama said she is a fan of Elliott, who is 47.
Singer Izzo and rapper Da Brat paid tribute to Elliott by performing some of her songs.
Before Elliott, two other rappers had made it into the hall of fame: Jermaine Dupri last year and Jay-Z in 2017.
Elliott first tasted success as a producer and writer for other artists before launching a solo career. Working with producer Timbaland, who shaped some of Elliott’s hip hop and R&B music in the 1990s, she performed with Aaliyah and Destiny’s Child.
Also with Timbaland, Elliott released her first album, entitled Supa Dupa Fly in 1997. Her song “The Rain” made her a rap star.
She had a series of hit albums and songs in the 1990s, such as “Work It,” “Hot Boyz” and “Get Ur Freak On,” often recorded with other big-name artists.
At Thursday’s ceremony, the Songwriters Hall of Fame also honored five other creators, including singer Yusuf, formerly known as Cat Stevens, who penned such classics as “Wild World.”
Justin Timberlake received a special prize, the Contemporary Icon Award, which celebrates giants of contemporary music.
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