Grammy-winning rapper Missy Elliott has been honored for her contributions to entertainment in recent years. And while she’s received awards and even an honorary doctorate for her work, her hometown is now paying tribute to her by renaming a street after her.
Missy Elliott is from Portsmouth, Virginia
Missy Elliott hails from Portsmouth, Virginia. She was born at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center and grew up in a local community known as Hodges Ferry. Some of her family members still live in the Churchland area and other parts of the Hampton Roads area, which includes other cities like Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Newport News.
One of her local friends in the area was none other than her future production partner, Timbaland. The two began working on music in the mid-1990s, with Elliott joining a girl group before launching her solo career.
She released her debut album, Supa Dupa Fly, in 1997. Over the next decade, she would release several more instant-classic albums with timeless songs.
Missy Elliott is having a street named after her in her hometown
Now, Elliott is receiving long-overdue recognition from her hometown of Portsmouth. In August 2022, the Portsmouth City Council voted unanimously to rename a local street after the hometown hero.
According to local news station WTKR, the renaming is part of a greater effort to beef up the city’s recently-rezoned entertainment district. McLean Street, which will have a portion renamed to Missy Elliott Boulevard, serves as a corridor to the Victory Crossing Shopping Center, Tidewater Community College, and the future Portsmouth Rivers Casino. (Interestingly enough, a street named Elliott Avenue intersects with the street.)
The decision pays homage to one of Portmouth’s finest and looks to liven up the entertainment sector
After the city council’s decision was announced, Elliott took to Twitter to express her gratitude.
“I am forever GRATEFUL,” she said. “P-TOWN VA #757 LOVE.”
She’s received honors for her legacy in recent years
For years, Elliott’s legacy was largely ignored as the industry focused on other established and up-and-coming rappers. But in the late 2010s, Elliott began receiving her flowers for all her contributions to music and to culture at large.
In 2019, Elliott was given the Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards, an honor reserved for true legends in the field. That same year, she received an honorary doctorate degree from Berklee College of Music, becoming the first female rapper to do so.
In 2020, Elliott received the Urban One Honors Music Innovation Honoree award. She was overwhelmed during her acceptance speech for the award, as writing music was something that felt impossible for her to do for many years due to her Graves’ disease.
In 2021, Elliott received another esteemed honor that felt long overdue for the hip-hop icon: she received her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Like the Cancer that she is, she also got emotional during her speech at the unveiling ceremony for the star.