Derek Blanks
Rachaell Davis
Dec, 14, 2017

Missy Elliott's career as a rapper, singer, songwriter, producer and dancer is one that has inspired popular culture for over two decades. ESSENCE is proud to announce the Grammy award-winning entertainment icon as our 2018 Black Women In Music honoree. This year's event will take place on January 25 at New York City's Highline Ballroom, just ahead of the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.

A consummate visionary whose creativity knows no limits, Missy Elliott has continuously pushed the boundaries in her work to shift the culture for the better across multiple industries including music, dance, fashion, film, television and art. Her authentic celebration of Black culture broke barriers for women in Hip Hop and music as a whole, while her creative genius influenced the tone of an entire music era alongside fellow superproducers Timbaland and Pharrell Williams.

Missy's record-breaking success as a solo artist, songwriter and producer has seen her build a solid foundation for her success and has cemented a legacy that will live on for years to come. As the mastermind behind a signature sound that has consistently elevated the landscape of music to new heights since the release of her debut album Supa Dupa Fly in 1997, Missy has set and moved the bar time and time again. Beyond propelling her own star to shine bright, the proud Virigina native has also been instrumental in the creation of chart-topping hits for other superstar artists including Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige and Fantasia, to name just a few.

Missy's futuristic style made her a fashion influencer like no other in the late 90s and early 2000s, birthing a wave of originality across multiple art forms that would prove to be far ahead of its' time. Her passion for dance and visual arts has resulted in some of the most innovative, revolutionary and celebrated music videos and live performances of our time. Simply put, Missy's presence in the entertainment industry has given new life to what it means to be a triple threat and a leader of your craft.

“The artistry of Missy Elliott cuts across generations—underscored by her vast creative accomplishments and contributions to the culture,” said Vanessa De Luca, ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief. “So prolific is her work, she is an inspiration to women all over the world.  Missy’s energetic presence is truly magnetic and we can’t wait to celebrate her as one of the artistic masterminds of our time.”

Established in 2010, ESSENCE ‘Black Women in Music’ recognizes the accomplishments of both emerging and established artists and influencers during GRAMMY week.  Previous celebrants include GRAMMY Award winners Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Rowland and GRAMMY Award nominees Andra Day, as well as music industry veteran Sylvia Rhone and singer/songwriter Emeli Sandé.