Iconic rapper and songwriter Missy Elliott has become the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Elliott, 47, was inducted into the prestigious academy Thursday night in a New York City ceremony by her longtime friend and fellow rapper Queen Latifah.
Among fans who offered congratulations were former President Barack Obama and wife Michelle.
“Missy, I want to thank you for all of your trailblazing ways,” Obama said in a video message played during the event. “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.”
An emotional Elliott was barely able to contain herself as she stepped to the podium in acceptance of her latest achievement.
“Every time I come up to a podium … even with all the work that I’ve done, I don’t know, and I’m assuming it’s just God, I don’t know why I am here,” she said with tears in her eyes as the audience erupted with cheers and applause. “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.”
Elliott is also the third rapper — after Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri in 2017 and 2018, respectively — to be inducted into the Hall.