After several years of fans urging MTV to do so, the network at last recognized Missy Elliott with her Video Vanguard Award. The honor is bestowed on performers who have had major accomplishments in the industry, and during the rapper’s performance Monday night, she definitely delivered. Blowing through hits including “The Rain,” “Pass That Dutch,” “Work It” and “Get Your Freak On” as well as her newest single “Throw It Back,” Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott showed the new girls how it’s done.
Below are four moments that wowed audiences at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
The Black Blow-up Suit Returns
Missy’s entire set saw her recreate the look and feel of her biggest hits, and when the audience saw her hanging from the ceiling of the arena in her black blow-up suit during “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” they cheered with delight.
“Work It” Dancer Makes a Comeback
The young dancer that was prominently featured in Missy’s 2002 music video for “Work It” returned to the stage and broke it down, just as she did as a 9-year-old. Now, 26, Alyson Stoner has traded in her pigtails for a super-short ‘do, but she still sported a tracksuit much as she did in the original video.
Janet Jackson Shows Some Love
Among the stars who sang Missy’s praises in a video shown ahead of Missy’s acceptance speech was Janet Jackson. She and Missy go way back, having initially collaborated on Jackson’s 2001 song “Son of a Gun,” and they’ve since become close friends who have praised each other in the following years.
“I wanna talk about how beautiful your soul is,” Jackson, whose nickname for Missy is Jack, says in the extended version of her dedication to the honoree. “The person that you are. You know how much I love you, and your soul is so true and so real.”
Cardi B Presents the Iconic Moonperson Trophy
A surprise guest had been teased ahead of Missy receiving the golden statue for her contributions to music and music visuals across the board. It was none other than Cardi B who stepped out to give the icon the award.
“She was always 100 percent Missy and a champion for the women who want to be doing their own thang!” Cardi exclaimed of the legendary performer. “Whoo! I love that woman!”