“Missy's life... It's deeper than a rap story; there are a lot of parts. "
Missy Elliott – So multi-talented!
When you think of multi-talented the first name to appear should be Missy Elliott. When it comes to talent there are no boundaries for the singer, songwriter, actress, producer, dancer, actress, charity organizer, and all around great woman.
Melissa Arnette Elliott was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, on July 1, 1971, the only child of Marine Corp dad, Ronnie, and mother, Patricia. She claims to have known from age 4 that performing was her future, she was clown in her North Carolina school, and failed all her classes to return to her peers when she was promoted two years ahead of them. After Ronnie left the Marines the family moved back to Virginia and Melissa began a cycle of abuse, repeated rape by an older cousin, and witnessing her mothers daily beatings – even to be involved when her dad forced her and Pat out of the house at gunpoint, naked. Finally in 1985, after Ron left for work, the mother and daughter made their escape from that nightmare.
Missy Elliott - The early years
In 1990 Missy Elliott founded Fayze with three girlfriends and another friend, Timothy Mosley, as producer. The newly renamed Sista and Mosley, renamed Timbaland, moved to New York City in 1991 and signed with Elektra Records via DeVante Swing’s Swing Mob imprint. While part of the Swing Mob Missy contributed on the single That’s what Little Girls are Made Of (1993), Diary of a Mad Band (1993), and The Show, The After Party, The Hotel (1995) with credited and uncredited work. The Sista album 4 All the Sistas Around the World was completed in 2004 and was never released. Swing Mob disbanded in late 1995 but Elliott, Magoo, Timbaland, Playa, and Genuwine spent the rest of the decade collaborating on each others’ records.
The early years
Missy and Timbaland continued songwriting and producing for notable artists, writing and producing nine tracks for Aaliya’s One in a Million (1996). The duo became stars when the album went double-platinum. Missy’s vocalist career began with rapping on the 1996 singles The Things That You Do, Cold Rock a Party, You Don’t Have to Worry and Men of Vizions Do Thangz. That same year Elliott inked a deal with EastWest Records to create The Goldmind Inc., her own label. Timbaland produced as she began recording her many solo releases.
From the release of her first album Missy Elliott’s career is legendary. Four of her six studio albums: Supa Dupa Fly (1997), Da Real World (1999), Miss E… So Addictive (2001), and This is Not a Test! (2003) were certified platinum, Under Construction (2002) was double platinum, and The Cookbook (2006) was certified gold. Her 2006 compilation Respect M.E. made gold in the UK, while also charting worldwide, as did the previous five albums and twenty four of her singles. She has appeared on television and in films several times, and has produced and appeared in her own two DVD’s. For her various contributions as an artist Missy Elliott has been titled the best selling female rap artist of all time and has garnered twenty Grammy Nominations, winning 5; three American Music nominations, winning 2, thirty-six BET nominations, winning 6; thirty-five MTV Video nominations, winning 7; one Vibe Award win; 3 Soul Train Music wins; and five Lady of Soul Award nominations became five winners.
A very busy woman
Missy Elliott is affiliated with Break the Cycle, holding a contest to create a public service ad for the domestic violence charity. She promoted Viva Glam for MAC Cosmetics with 100% of the proceeds donated to the M.A.C. Aids Fund, in 2007 she provided scholarships to four underprivileged teens for Extreme Makeovers weight loss program, and 2010 found her on the SOS Saving Ourselves benefit for Haiti.
And charitable too
Did you know that...
- ...Growing up Missy was in constant fear of returning home and finding her mother dead from the abuse?
- ...Missy has been featured on 32 releases by other artists?
- ...Swing Mob Collective consisted of 20+ artists living in the same 2-story house?