Missy Elliott becomes the first female rapper to be nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame as part of its class of 2019, it was announced today. Joining Elliott as performing nominees are Mariah Carey, Chrissie Hynde, Vince Gill, the Beach Boys’ Mike Love, Jimmy Cliff, Jeff Lynne, Cat Stevens, John Prine, Lloyd Price, Tommy James and the Eurythmics (Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart).
Non-performing nominees are Eagles collaborator Jack Tempchin, Dean Dillon, Jerry Fuller, Tom T. Hall, Roger Nichols and R&B hitmaker Dallas Austin, who wrote hits for TLC, Madonna, Monica, Pink and Boyz II Men.
Nominated non-performing songwriting duos include P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, Russell Brown and the late Irwin Levine, musical theater writers Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore, Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham, Bobby Hart and the late Tommy Boyce. The news was first reported by the Associated Press; a rep for the Hall confirmed the news to Variety.
If elected, Elliott would be just the third rapper to be inducted, following Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri. Drake was honored with the organization’s Hal David Starlight Award, which recognizes new talent, in 2011.
Six songwriters or songwriting groups will be officially inducted at the Hall’s 50th annual ceremony in New York on June 13, 2019. The show is one of the most unique awards ceremonies in the music industry and features many rare pairings of performers (one show ended with Billy Joel and Garth Brooks singing a duet in matching black stetson hats). Eligible members can vote for three non-performing songwriters and three performing songwriters until Dec. 17.
While she’s kept a relatively low profile in recent years, Elliott has had a vast influence on the sound of hip-hop and R&B, both through her solo work (particularly songs like “The Rain,” “Work It,” “Lose Control” and “Get Ur Freak On”) and her collaborations with Aaliyah, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige and many others. In recent years she’s dropped the occasional single, usually accompanied by a mind-melting Dave Myers video, or featured appearance on another artist’s song, and then drop out of sight for another few months or years. She performed at the 2015 Super Bowl with Katy Perry, and a year later played an explosive 45-minute set at the Warner Music post-Grammy party.
Her most recent single, “I’m Better,” was released early last year; she hasn’t released a new album of original material since 2005.