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Whitney Houston was a big fan of Missy Elliott, but the rapper initially had a hard time believing it. It was so difficult for her to imagine that Houston would call that she told her to “stop playing” the first time she did it.

Read on to learn more about their work together, the beginning of their friendship, and the compliment Houston once paid to the Grammy-winning rapper that left her in tears.

(L) Whitney Houston in 2011 (R) Missy Elliott in 2021
(L) Whitney Houston | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic (R) Missy Elliott | Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Missy Elliott called her first phone call from Whitney Houston ‘a dream come true’

According to Elliott, she first became acquainted with Houston when the music icon, who died in 2012, called her up. She wanted to tell her she liked her work as a rapper and producer and talk about a collaboration.

“It was a dream come true to get a call from Mariah, to get a call from Whitney,” Elliott shared, noting Mariah Carey also reached out to her about working together (per Interview). “Those are major people I’ve always dreamed of working with …”

That call from Houston led to the song “In My Business” on her 1998 album My Love Is Your Love. But before they could work together, Elliott had to get over the initial shock of receiving a call from one of her idols.

Whitney Houston left Missy Elliott in literal disbelief when she called her the first time

While talking to Interview, Elliott went into more detail about that first call from Houston. “She called me one day and I didn’t believe it was her,” she recalled. “When I got off the phone, I screamed so loud. She was so down-to-earth.”

As Elliott remembered, the “I Will Always Love You” singer said, “What up, girl? This is Whitney,” and she replied, “Yeah, right. Whatever. Stop playing.”

“And then I realized it was her and said, ‘I love you, I love your music,'” she went on. Houston told her she was a fan and wanted to collaborate.

The shocking experience was momentous for Elliott. “Just to hear that come from somebody who’s had the success she’s had, sold the records she has…,” she explained. “I would never have thought I could sit in the same room with Whitney and we’d laugh and joke like we’ve known each other for years.”

Whitney Houston thought Missy Elliott was “one of the most talented female producers in the industry”


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Houston once said Elliott impressed her as “one of the most talented female producers in the industry,” a compliment that the rapper said made her tear up after The Bodyguard star‘s death.

“I NEVER heard this interview before from Whitney Houston until one of my fans … sent it to me,” Elliott wrote on Twitter in 2019, adding she “teared up so hard.”

“[No one] can imagine what it did to my spirit to hear this the [first] time,” she shared, concluding that it “humbled” her to have ever been in Houston’s presence.