We know you heard about a lot of great MC’s, but they ain’t got nothin’ on Missy Elliott, whose culture-shifting, forward-thinking videography will be honored at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards. That’s right: “Misdemeanor” herself is this year’s recipient of the coveted Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
The Virginia rapper will join the ranks of fellow icons like Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Madonna, and last year’s recipient, Jennifer Lopez, with the prestigious prize, which honors an artist’s remarkable body of work. For Elliott, that means celebrating over 20 years of art that redefined the music video landscape as we know it.
Beginning with her first-ever vid, for 1997’s “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” — a.k.a. the one where she made blow-up trash bags chic — the singer/rapper/producer has been responsible for some of the most audacious looks, flyest choreography, and wildest visual effects seen onscreen. That includes the afrofuturistic “She’s A Bitch,” the funky-fresh “Gossip Folks,” and the absolutely legendary “Work It.”
Elliott has a long, prosperous history with the VMAs — she’s won seven Moon Person trophies, including Video of the Year in 2003 for “Work It” and Best Hip-Hop Video in 2005 for “Lose Control.” She’s also hit the VMA stage three times before, including a medley of “Get Ur Freak On” and “One Minute Man” in 2001, and an appearance in 2006 during which she recreated her “The Rain” look (Jeep, blow-up suit, and all) in tribute to longtime collaborator Hype Williams, who received that year’s Vanguard Award.
With a long-awaited seventh album on the way, Elliott’s reign as rap royalty is far from over, as is her standing as a VMA legend. Along with receiving the Video Vanguard Award, she’ll also hit the stage for what’s sure to be an explosive live performance that’ll have everyone losing control — don’t miss(y) it.
The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards will air live from The Prudential Center on Monday, August 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Voting is now open at vma.mtv.com!