After what seems like years of Twitter campaigning from her biggest fans, MTV announced yesterday that Missy Elliott will be receiving the Video Vanguard Award at this year’s 2019 Video Music Awards. Missy will be the first female rapper to receive the award — following recent recipients such as Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, and Britney Spears, and previous ’80s icons like David Bowie, Madonna, and Janet Jackson.
To many, the immediate reaction to the news of the announcement is simply: “It’s about time.”
The news comes in the midst of what’s become one of Missy’s most celebratory years in recent memory. Earlier this year she became the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, headlined a lustrous Essence Fest lineup, graced the cover of Marie Claire magazine, and released one of summer’s hottest tracks, “Tempo,” with new music darling and one of her biggest fans, Lizzo.
The Vanguard Award is meant to honor artists who make groundbreaking strides in the music video art form, and granting Missy Elliott the award seems like an obviously overdue recognition. Videos like “Get Ur Freak On,” “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” and “Lose Control” have become iconic visual representations of not just Missy’s musical range as a rapper and songwriter, but her stunning creative direction as an artist as well.
Her videos have become synonymous with representing the best in choreography, fashion, and makeup artistry — no component is ever overlooked in a Missy Elliott video. Visuals aside, Missy’s musical catalog — alongside her production work with one of her closest confidants and fellow Virginia native Timbaland — is easily one of the most effortlessly timeless bodies of work created in recent decades.
“I am Humbly Grateful to be receiving the MichaelJacksonVideoVanguard Award,” Missy wrote on Twitter following the announcement. “I Thank my FANS ‘Supafriends’ who fought diligently to see this day come @KidFury @crissles who rooted for years 4 me. I am crying happy tears. Thank you God @MTV @vmas am SO HUMBLED,” giving a nod to The Read podcast host who regularly triumphs for her on their weekly pop culture show.
In honor of the award, Missy will take to the MTV VMAs stage for the first time in 16 years — and we can only dream of what sort of perfectly over-the-top performance Missy will have in store for the celebration. In a press release, Viacom’s head of music talent, Bruce Gillmer, described Missy’s influence best: “Missy’s impact on the music landscape is indelible,” said Gillmer. “Her creative vision across production, performance, and songwriting is unmatched.”
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue