When 2019 is wrapped up and end of the year lists describe which artists did what, Missy Elliott‘s name will most likely be included.
Because on Thursday she was the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, just a month after she received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music.
The Hall of Fame ceremony was held at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, and Elliott received praise from people like Queen Latifah and Michelle Obama, who said the Virginia native has been a huge inspiration for young girls.
“Missy, I want to thank you for all of your trailblazing ways,” said the former first lady in prerecorded video. “Thank you not for just sharing your gift with the world, but for being an advocate for so many people out there, especially young girls who are still figuring out how to make their voices heard.”
Elliott eventually took the podium and, just like the 47-year-old said in her Berklee speech, she was confused that people were honoring her.
“Every time I come up to a podium, even with all the work that I’ve done, I don’t know, and I’m assuming it’s just God, I don’t know why I am here,” she said with wet eyes.
During another part of the ceremony, buzzed-about rapper Lizzo took the stage, along with Da Brat, to perform Elliott’s 1997 cut “Sock It 2 Me.”
Of course, Elliott has been a musical force on both sides of the studio console since the ’90s. Her first album was 1997’s “Supa Dupa Fly,” and she released five albums after that, which all came with groundbreaking music videos.
Elliott has also racked up five Grammys, penned songs for icons like Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson, plus she’s broken a bevy of new acts throughout her career.
On top of that, each of her six albums has gone platinum, and she’s the only female rapper who’s accomplished that so far.