Missy Elliot got emotional while speaking out on the struggles women face in the music industry as she accepted her Innovator of the Year Award at the 2015 Billboard Women in Music event.
According to the Huffington Post, following a touching tribute by Ciara Missy took the stage and sent a message to women.
“I stand here for all the women who’ve been told, ‘You don’t fit the mold, you’re not good enough, you won’t make it’ … Look at me, I’m here,” she said in her acceptance speech.
Amidst shoutouts to her collaborators over the years including Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Janet Jackson, Missy expanded on her message to women, encouraging them to continue to be creative.
“I want y’all to know to continue to be creative and don’t be scared to take risks,” Elliott continued. “Being a woman in this industry, for me — as an artist, a writer, a producer — I’ve had my ups and downs and there’s times when I wanted to give up, but,” she added through tears, “God had another plan for me and if it weren’t for Him, I wouldn’t be standing here.”
She ended her speech with a heartwarming shout out to Aaliyah saying, “I hope you’re looking down and you’re proud of me,” she said. “I miss you much.”
Billboard’s Women in Music will air December 18 on Lifetime at 8 pm EST.