Watch Missy Elliott Pay Tribute to ‘Godmothers of Hip-Hop’ at Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony

Missy Elliott at the star ceremony
John Salangsang for Variety

Four-time Grammy winning singer-songwriter-producer Missy Elliott was honored Monday with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Ciara and Lizzo (pictured below, filming Elliott’s acceptance speech on their phones) were among those to introduce Elliott at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce ceremony — fittingly, Elliott’s star was placed outside the new location of the giant Amoeba Music record store on Hollywood Boulevard, which will also be a location for stars for other music honorees, Ana Martinez, said.

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Ciara and Lizzo John Salangsang

Elliott — who gave a career-spanning interview to Variety to mark the occasion — teared up as she thanked all the people who helped along the way, from her longtime friend and collaborator Timbaland to her record label — and not least, the pioneering female rappers who came before her.

“I especially want to thank my sisters in hip-hop” she said, “I love each and every one of y’all — the ones that’s poppin’ and the ones that’s about to be poppin,’” she said, before singling out “the godmothers”: Queen Latifah, Monie Love, Sha-Rock, Angie Stone, Roxannne Shanté, Yo-Yo, MC Lyte, and Salt-N-Pepa.

“I know I’m probably missing some,” she continued. “But y’all are the backs that we stand on. Y’all are the foundation. Y’all ran so we could walk; y’all stood up for something so we could sit comfortably. So I thank y’all for this moment.”

Since she rose to fame in the mid-1990s, Elliott has made her mark as a wildly innovative singer-songwriter-producer and music video pioneer whose work has cast a long shadow over the past quarter century. She and Timbaland reshaped the sound of hip-hop, making songs out of pings and bips and bloops (both vocal and electronic) that quickly became part of the foundation of virtually all that followed: “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” “Work It,” “Lose Control,” “Get Ur Freak on,” along with hits for Aaliyah, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé (solo and with Destiny’s Child), Mary J. Blige, TLC, Monica, and more than a hundred features, guest appearances and others. She has sold more than 30 million records worldwide.”I’d come here 20-some years ago and just used to walk past all of these stars and just imagine,” she said on Monday. “It’s just a blessing to dream big and it truly happened. I’m truly standing here.”

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Missy Elliott and Ciara at the star ceremony where Missy Elliott is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California on November 8, 2021. John Salangsang for Variety