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Pemberton Music Festival

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Missy Elliott is back like she never left! The multi-platinum Grammy Award winning rapper can now add another accolade to her list of accomplishments.

She just received the inaugural “Innovator of the Year” award during Billboard’s annual “Women In Music” celebration.

Missy’s friend and fellow collaborator, Ciara presented the living legend with her award. Missy was one of the early mentors to help shape Ciara’s career with her verse on “1, 2 Step”. Ciara’s vocals on Missy’s hit “Lose Control” scored them both a Grammy Award for Best Music Video.

Before Missy took the stage, Cici instructed everyone to stand. “There is truly no one like her,” said the singer.

For over 20 years, Missy’s creativity with her lyricism and visuals have set a high bar for female rappers following her. Even after a near ten year hiatus from music to manage her health issues (Missy suffers from Graves Disease) she was welcomed with open arms during the 2015 Superbowl Halftime Show. We almost forgot it was Katy Perry‘s set when Missy performed four of her classic hits.

With her new comeback single, “WTF” (Where They From) we’re reminded of the Missy we’ve grown to love and producer Pharrell helps to keep the track fresh and modern for the youngins!

During her award acceptance speech Missy humbly said, “I stand here for all the women who been told you don’t fit the mold,” she said close to tears “Look at me, I’m here.”

She shouted out long time friends including Timbaland (“we were broke together, we cussed each other out,” she said), Magoo, Pharrell, her label, Atlantic Records and the late Aaliyah.

“I wanna thank all the women before me, because they kicked down the door for me to be able to walk through,” she added.

Billboard’s Women in Music show which also honors Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato and Lana Del Rey airs December 18 on Lifetime at 8 p.m. E.T.

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