Missy Elliott becomes first female rapper to be inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame
The US rapper is the world’s highest-selling female rapper of all time. (Facebook: Missy Elliott )
Missy Elliott is making history as the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, whose 2019 class also includes legendary British singer Cat Stevens and country-folk icon John Prine.
- Missy Elliott has sold 7.6 million LPs in the United States
- She becomes the third rapper to be inducted in the organisation’s 50-year history
- Other inductees have included Joni Mitchell and Marvin Gaye
The organisation, founded in 1969, announced the new group of inductees on Saturday.
Other inductees include Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, and Dallas Austin — the songwriter behind radio hits for TLC, Monica, Pink, Boyz II Men, Madonna and more.
Elliott is just the third rapper to enter the Songwriters Hall, following Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri’s inductions in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
While she’s written her own raps, Elliott has also lent her writing and production skills to everyone from Beyonce and Whitney Houston to the late icon Aaliyah.
She remains the world’s highest-selling female rapper of all time, with 7.6 million LP sales in the US according to Nielsen Music, with hits such as One Minute Man, Work It and Get Ur Freak On.
The rapper also has been lauded as a pop-culture icon, making strides for women in hip-hop in an industry that has historically diminished the contributions of women.
In the New Yorker’s Touchstones series in 2018, writer Doreen St Felix spoke of Elliott’s radical repositioning of black female sexuality around the release of her debut album, Supa Dupa Fly in 1997.
“Elliott fashioned a vision of black female sexuality that decentred the body,” she wrote.
“Sometimes she wasn’t even human. Elliott seemed plugged into the cyber-feminist premonition that the internet would usher in a post-gender age.”
“Elliott’s approach to sex and female pleasure was empowering because of its thickness — because it was coded, available only to those willing to do the work of unscrambling.”
The new class of songwriters will officially be inducted on June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
Songwriters are eligible for induction after writing hit songs for at least 20 years.
Stevens, who also goes by the moniker Yusuf (the name he took when he converted to Islam), has been a respected writer since releasing his debut in 1967.
He’s had a string of Top 40 hits, from Peace Train to Morning Has Broken. And The First Cut Is the Deepest, which he wrote five decades ago, has become a hit for multiple artists, including Rod Stewart and Sheryl Crow.
Prine’s inclusion is extra-special since he was nominated for this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but didn’t make the cut.
The 72-year-old has become an affable songwriting guru for many of Nashville’s talented young artists, including rocker Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, country rebel Sturgill Simpson, and the married Americana darlings Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires.