Missy Elliott brought the funk to New York’s Cipriani on Friday (Dec. 11). As Billboard’s inaugural Innovator of the Year, the Virginia rapper let her Adidas tracksuit-clad dancers bust a move (or five) to a medley of her hits including “Lose Control,” “Work It” and her comeback single “WTF.”
Billboard Cover: Missy Elliott on Her Comeback — ‘There Is Only One Missy’
Past collaborator Ciara –who teamed with Elliott for dance tracks like CiCi’s “1, 2 Step” and Missy’s “Lose Control” — with the award, even asking the entire room to stand for her. “There is truly no one like her,” she gushed.
Missy delivered an emotional speech peppered with jokes and loaded with gratitude. “I stand here for all the women who been told you don’t fit the mold,” she said during her tear-y speech. “Look at me, I’m here.”
11 Missy Elliott Videos That Are Still Supa Dupa Fly
She shouted out several familiar faces including Timbaland (“we were broke together … we cussed each other out,” she said), Magoo, Pharrell Williams, her label, Atlantic Records, and Aaliyah.
“I wanna thank all the women before me … because they kicked down the door for me to be able to walk through,” she added.
Misdemeanor’s lengthy resume includes selling 7.6 million records in the U.S. and landing six top five albums on the Top R&B/ Hip-Hop Albums chart like her 1997 debut Supa Dupa Fly and 2001’s Miss E… So Addictive.
Women In Music 2015: The 50 Most Powerful Executives in the Industry
The recent Billboard cover star plans to drop a new LP soon-ish, saying, “I want to say 2016 but I don’t want to give a time. Nowadays you say a time, they’ll stone you.”
Billboard’s Women in Music show airs Dec. 18 on Lifetime at 8 p.m. E.T.