Missy Elliott can now go by Dr. Elliott!
The 10-time Grammy winner was awarded an honorary doctor of music degree on Saturday from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Elliott became the first female rapper in history to ever receive an honorary doctorate from the prestigious institution. Berklee called Elliott a “groundbreaking solo superstar, pioneering producer, songwriter, singer, and rapper.”
In a brief speech to graduates, Elliott told them that “there will be ups and downs — prepare for that.”
After describing her own ups and downs, such as losing awards, being dropped from a label, and becoming ill, she encouraged graduates to be patient through the struggle but to never give up on themselves.
“As long as you are breathing, it is never too late. Don’t forget that. You have come too far to quit.“
The “Work It” rapper reacted to the news on Instagram by sharing a video of herself wearing her cap and down, and showing off her degree.
“CREATE YOUR OWN LANE!!!!” she wrote. “Sincerely Dr. MISSY ELLIOTT…”
Elliott was awarded the degree alongside Justin Timberlake and acclaimed Broadway orchestrator Alex Lacamoire. Previous artists recognized by the institution for their creativity include B.B. King, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, and Loretta Lynn.
2019 has been a big year for Elliott. She also became the very first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this January.
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