It’s fitting that on Wednesday morning (Feb. 1) Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott became the first-ever female hip-hop artist to be nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility. The pioneering rapper/songwriter/producer celebrated the news in a statement in which she said, “This is an incredible honor. I’m so humbled and grateful to be counted amongst all the incredible honorees.”
Elliott joined a list of 2023 nominees that also included Kate Bush, Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper, Iron Maiden, JoyDivision/New Order, The Spinners, George Michael, Willie Nelson, Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden, A Tribe Called Quest, The White Stripes and Warren Zevon.
“I’ve spent my career making the kind of music I love and it means so much to know that I have touched others as well,” Elliott added. “But to hear that I am the first female hip hop artist to EVER be nominated into the Rock & Rock Hall of Fame?!? Wow!! This one hits extra different as I hope it opens doors for other female emcees to be recognized!”
To be eligible for the RRHOF, an artist’s first commercial release must have come out at least 25 years prior to the nomination year. After making a name for herself in her early 20s writing and rapping on songs by Raven-Symoné, Jodeci, SWV and Aaliyah, Elliott’s genre-expanding debut, Supa Dupa Fly, dropped in 1997, featuring the psychedelic video for “The Rain,” her first of many eye-popping collaborations with director Hype Williams.
Elliott won a Grammy — one of four she’s earned to date — for best rap solo performance in 2002 for her landmark hit “Get Ur Freak On” and hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 with her 2003 single “Work It.” In addition to her six solo albums, Elliott has continued to be one of the most in-demand producers and songwriters in the business, working with everyone from Mary J. Blige and TLC to Beyoncé, Ciara, Fantasia, Jazmine Sullivan, Monica and Fifth Harmony, among many others.
She was also the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2019), the first to receive the MTV VMAs Video Vanguard Award (2019) and with more than 40 Million records sold worldwide she is the best-selling female rapper in Luminate history.
RRHOF Inductees will be revealed in May, with the induction ceremony taking place this fall. The top five artists selected through fan voting will be tallied along with the ballots from the Rock Hall’s international voting body to determine the Class of 2023. Fans can vote online every day through April 28 at vote.rockhall.com or IRL at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland.