Missy Elliott will receive the inaugural Innovator award at the 2015 Billboard Women in Music ceremony. The Innovator honor recognizes an artists whose masterful body of work has consistently broken new ground in pop music.
Missy Elliott has achieved six top five albums on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart — the most of any female rap artist — including three No. 1s: Supa Dupa Fly, her 1997 debut, Da Real World and Miss E …So Addictive. Collectively, her albums have sold 7.6 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. Elliott is also currently on the cover of Billboard magazine.
“Missy Elliott is a once-in-a-generation artist and producer whose artistic brilliance and creative vision have transformed pop and hip hop music,” said Janice Min, co-president and chief creative officer of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group, which consists of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s such a thrill to make this announcement while Missy is on our current Billboard cover after a decade-long hiatus. There are few artists more respected by her peers and more creative. We are proud to honor her with the inaugural Women in Music Innovator award.”
In addition to Elliott’s Innovator honor, Lady Gaga will be presented with the Woman of the Year honor at this year’s Women in Music event, which takes place on Dec. 11 in New York. Loretta Lynn, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Fifth Harmony, Kelsea Ballerini and Lana Del Rey will also be honored. Lovato, Gaga, Gomez and Howard will all perform.
Billboard‘s Women in Music ceremony will air on Lifetime Dec. 18. The event is held alongside Billboard’s Women in Music list, which names the year’s 50 most powerful female executives in the industry.