About Missy Elliott
With her endlessly riveting sound and persona, Missy Elliott has actively, thoroughly reshaped the genres of R&B, hip-hop, and pop, becoming a beacon for mainstream-minded outsiders in the process. Born in Portsmouth, VA, 1971, Melissa Arnette Elliott grew up heavily involved in music in church, while at school balancing grade-skipping smarts with class-clown charisma. She’d eventually parlay all that into a career, starting with a spot in early-’90s all-woman R&B group Sista. The outfit dissolved, but in its wake a legendary pairing formed: Elliott linked with visionary beatsmith Timbaland in time to share songwriting and production duties on Aaliyah’s aptly named 1996 album, One in a Million. The following year, Elliott properly debuted with Supa Dupa Fly and its trippy lead single “The Rain,” which found her kicking wildly styled lyrics and rhymes about her general dopeness. When not releasing her own revered albums—like 1999’s Da Real World, with the subversively flirtatious “Hot Boyz”—Elliott continued to lend her behind-the-scenes skills to others. She’s produced or written for Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, Trina, and Tweet, to name a few. And after blasting hip-hop into the 23rd century with immortal, mind-bending party-starters like 2001’s “Get Ur Freak On” and 2002’s “Work It,” she opened the door for Crunk&B Princess Ciara with an iconic feature on 2004’s electrifying “One, Two Step.” More than a decade later, she laid down a frisky verse for Ariana Grande on 2018’s chic, Pharrell-produced “borderline,” and a high-energy cameo on Lizzo’s defiant 2019 body-positivity anthem, “Tempo.” Missy Elliott knows talent when she hears it, and she’s determined to continue molding the future—through her own fascinating, peerless music and by supporting the creations of those fortunate enough to work alongside her.
BORNJuly 1, 1971