Melissa Arnette “Missy” Elliott or better known by her stage name, Missy Elliott, is a singer, songwriter and record producer. She is born on July 1, 1971 in the city of Portsmouth, Virginia. In the year 1975, Missy was 4 years old and her dream was to become a performer but no one took her words seriously since she was always branded as the class clown.
Missy enjoyed making friends at school but shows little interest in school work even though her IQ has a result of above average which then made her eligible to be 2 years ahead of her class. This made her a bit isolated amongst her classmates so she failed her classes on purpose just to return to the class that is appropriate for her age.
During the 1990s, Missy formed an R&B group called Fayze which was later known as Sista. This group consists of Missy along with her friends Chonita Coleman, La’Shawn Shellman and Radiah Scott. Her friend and neighbor Timothy Mosley became their producer and they started producing demo tracks wherein it included their hit “First Move”.
In 1991, Fayze caught the attention of one of the members of Jodeci, DeVante Swing, wherein the group performed a cappella Jodeci songs backstage. This opened an opportunity for the group and they moved to New York City wherein they signed a contract with Elektra Records through Devante’s Swing Mob imprint. It also made Fayze to rename their group as Sista. The group also took Mosley in and was later renamed by DeVante as Timbaland.
During 1996-98, Missy and Timbaland worked as a team in songwriting and producing. They worked on producing tracks for 702 and SWV but the one that stood out the most was Aaliyah. The duo worked and produced 9 tracks for the second album of Aaliyah called One in a Million (1996). The album went double-platinum which includes famous hit singles such as “One in a Million”, “If Your Girl Only Knew”, “4 Page Letter” and “Hot Like Fire”.
In mid-1997, Missy released her debut album Supa Dupa Fly with the lead single “The Rain” and later on made it to become certified platinum. The success of the album earned Missy to have music videos for her tracks wherein the renowned hip hop director Harold “Hype” Williams was the one who directed them. The album also got nominated at the 1998 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album but didn’t get the win.
In 1999, Missy’s second album Da Real World was just as successful as the first wherein it sold 3 million copies worldwide. The album includes famous hits such as “All n My Grill” and “She’s a Bitch”. In 2001, she released her third album Missy E… So Addictive and it featured tracks such as “One Minute Man”, “Get Ur Freak On”, “Take Away” and “4 My People”.
During the 2007 VH1 Hip Hop Honors, Missy became an honoree and a lot of artists paid tribute to her career by performing some of her greatest hits.
Missy’s successful career in the hip hop industry opened an opportunity for her to appear on TV, films and campaign ads but she never let go of her first love which is music. Being a visionary and entrepreneur, Missy’s skills in the industry has helped her achieved the title of being a hip-hop icon and hip hop’s first female mogul.