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Missy Elliott to receive honorary doctorate

AWARDED: Missy Elliott

MISSY ELLIOTT has been announced as the first female hip hop artist to be received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music alongside Justin Timberlake and conductor Alex Lacamoire.

The news was announced by the prestigious university vai Twitter on Tuesday (Mar 12), with the commencement ceremony taking place on Saturday, May 11, at the Agganis Arena at Boston University.

According to the school’s website, Berklee President Roger H. Brown will present Elliott — a 5x-Grammy Award winner with nominations spanning three decades — Lacamoire and Timberlake with honorary Doctor of Music degrees. They are being recognised for their “achievements and influences in music and for their enduring global impact.”

Past recipients include Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, George Clinton and Nile Rodgers.


Missy Elliott is a groundbreaking solo superstar, pioneering producer, songwriter, singer, and rapper. The five-time Grammy Award–winner—with nominations spanning three decades—has achieved unprecedented success, including U.S. sales in excess of 30 million.

Elliott’s six studio albums, including 2001’s landmark Miss E… So Addictive and the 2002 blockbuster Under Construction, have each been RIAA platinum certified or better, making her the only female rapper to achieve that milestone accomplishment.

In 2015, Elliott made an unforgettable surprise performance at Super Bowl XLIX with Katy Perry, to 114.4 million viewers—the largest ever audience in Super Bowl history—with a medley of Get Ur Freak On, Work It, and Lose Control. Digital sales skyrocketed in the following days, with both Get Ur Freak On and Work It returning to the top 40 on Billboard’s top singles chart more than 10 years after their initial successes.

The musical icon also teamed up with Michelle Obama to release the female empowerment anthem This Is for My Girls, as part of the former First Lady’s Let Girls Learn initiative. The track supports various ongoing campaigns that centre around empowering young women, and also features the talents of Kelly Rowland, Janelle Monáe, Kelly Clarkson, and Zendaya.

In June of this year, Elliott will be the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted into the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame.

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