If you grew up in the ’90s, chances are you’re well-acquainted with the hits of one Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott. She was one of the best MCs and dancers in the game, a refreshing breath of fresh air with amazing beats, innovative choreography, and a ridiculous level of talent.
It’s only natural that she would eventually receive some recognition for that, which is exactly what happened at the 2019 VMAs, held at Newark’s Prudential Center on Monday.
“I want to dedicate this award to the dance community all around the world. Because when y’all get on the stage with these artists, y’all are not just props. Y’all are not just the icing on the cake, y’all are the beat to the heart” – Missy Elliott, #VMAs Video Vanguard winner pic.twitter.com/YDuxu0lEOj
— MTV NEWS (@MTVNEWS) August 27, 2019
Elliott was presented with the illustrious Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award for her contribution to the world of music videos. Her videos for songs like “Supa Dupa Fly,” “Get Ur Freak On,” “Lose Control,” and “Work It” are still considered iconic, and her VMA award, presented by Cardi B, went a long way in giving the artist the praise she deserves.
“I have worked diligently for over two decades and I never thought I would be standing up here receiving this award,” she said during her acceptance speech, naming Janet Jackson, Madonna, Busta Rhymes, and Peter Gabriel as influences on her own work.
Thanking “the dance community around the world,” Elliott also brought the youngest dancers on her team out on stage with her, adding, “This is the next generation, and I promise y’all, I love y’all with all my heart.”
After dedicating her award to Aaliyah, Elliott also gave a medley performance of some of her biggest hits, recreating the motifs from each of the videos as the crowd went wild, including her fellow musical artists—no one missed Taylor Swift getting her life to “Get Ur Freak On” and Bebe Rexha’s “Lose Control” aisle dance.
— MTV (@MTV) August 27, 2019
One thing’s for sure: Missy Elliott has been one of the biggest creative forces and influences for more than 20 years, and it’s about time she was recognized for her contributions to the industry. Monday night’s VMAs were a good start.