MTV VMAS: How Missy Elliott Broke the Music Video Mould

MTV VMAS: How Missy Elliott Broke the Music Video Mould

Missy Elliott is almost as well known for her groundbreaking music videos as she is for the songs they accompany.

The rapper, whose real name is Melissa Elliott, is set to receive a prestigious award in recognition of her innovative music videos over the last 25 years.

She will take home the Video Vanguard Award at the MTV VMAs, which has previously gone to Janet Jackson, Beyonce, Kanye West, Pink, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Jackson, who the prize is named after.

For her fans, who have been campaigning for her to receive the Vanguard for several years, the acknowledgement is long overdue.

“Her presence as a full-figured black woman bursting with creativity was the kind of representation I needed growing up,” says Leah Sinclair, online editor at The Voice. “I’m sure many little girls like me looked on in awe to see her style, charisma and talent ooze off the screen.

“She embraced the weird and the wonderful, which was a rarity among her equally talented but hyper-sexualised peers.”

Elliott went through a particularly successful period in the late 1990s and early 00s, with a positive and playful brand of hip-hop, blending her often humorous lyrics with razor-sharp beats, which she co-produced with her long-term collaborator Timbaland.

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