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For Missy Elliott, a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame once seemed "so far out of reach." But in a matter of hours, she will become the first female hip-hop artist inducted into the coveted community.
The "Lose Control" rapper reflected on her historic honor in an interview with "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts shared Thursday. Elliott, known for catchy hits including "Get Ur Freak On" and "Work It," told Roberts that her Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction is meaningful in more ways than one.
"It being the 50th year of hip-hop, [there are] layers," she said. "No matter what people say, the hip-hop world is something special and unique."
On Friday, Elliott will join fellow inductees including Kate Bush, Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson for a ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. This year, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will also recognize Rage Against the Machine, the Spinners and the late singer George Michael.
Elliott added that being among her fellow inductees "is a blessing, past a blessing." The Virginia native, who defined rock ’n’ roll as a "gumbo of different styles of music," also revealed that she will have a few special guests joining her for the honor.
Elliott's longtime friend and Oscar-nominated actor Queen Latifah will introduce the rapper during Friday's ceremony. The "Set It Off" and "Chicago" star previously presented Elliott her Songwriters Hall of Fame honor in 2019. The Grammy winner told Roberts that the hip-hop luminary helped pave the way for her career.
"I owe so many flowers, bouquets. It's not enough bouquets for those women that came before me," she said. "And she's one of those women."
Elliott, 52, added that her mother has "never been to a show" and will also be at Friday's ceremony, where she'll finally watch her daughter perform. The 2019 MTV Video Vanguard recipient said she had been nervous about her mother hearing "some little words" in her songs.
Since breaking out in the ’90s with R&B group Sistas, Elliott has established herself as a hip-hop staple, with wins at the Grammys and BET Awards. Decades into her career, Elliott has a message for her younger self.
"There is a bright future for you, and keep going," she said. "That girl knew she had something that was different and unique."
Elliot also spread the love to her fans in a statement shared on X early Thursday. She praised her "Day 1's and New Fans" for their continued support and honesty.
"You have done with grace & never disrespected me even if sharing things you wanted to see from me through the years," she wrote. "For that you have made even the toughest times easier to make it through with your love and encouragement."
"This is YOU!" she said of her Rock & Roll Hall of Fame accomplishment. The ceremony will be broadcast live on Disney+ at 5 p.m. Pacific on Friday.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.