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Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott (born Melissa Arnette Elliott on July 1, 1971 in Portsmouth, Virginia), formerly known as Missy Misdemeanor Elliott, is the first female hip hop superstar, known for a long series of hits including The Rain, She's A Bitch, Get Ur Freak On, and Work It.

Elliott signed to Swing Mob as part of Sista, but the label folded before Sista could release their debut. Elliott began working with producer Timbaland, and worked on collaborations with a large number of other artists before signing to a solo deal with Elektra Records in 1996. Prior to her debut album, Elliott was the featured rap guest and producer on SWV's Can We and MC Lyte's Cold Rock A Party, both singles in 1996.

Her debut, released in mid-1997, was Supa Dupa Fly, which included The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly), a blockbuster hit that established Elliott as a major force in popular music. Other singles included Beep Me 911, which featured 702, Timbaland, and Magoo; Hit 'Em Wit Da Hee, featuring rapper Mocha and Timbaland; and Sock It 2 Me, a decent-sized hit which featured rhymes from Da Brat and a cameos by her and Lil Kim in the Mega Man-inspired music video. The critical acceptance of Supa Dupa Fly was mixed, though generally positive; many critics commented that the album tracks were far inferior to the singles. 1997 also saw Elliott perform on Lil Kim's girl-power anthem, a hit remix of her song, Not Tonite. The song's remix also featured Da Brat, Angie Martinez, and Left Eye, in addition to Kim and Elliott; and the five women performed it at 1997's VMAs.

In 1998, Elliott continued her successful music career by being the featured rap guest on Total's single Trippin', as well as duetting with several others in the hip-hop and R&B communities. The same year, Elliott produced and contributed background vocals and some rhymes to former Spice Girl, Mel B's, debut single, I Want You Back.

Elliott's second album was just as successful as the first. Da Real World (1999, see 1999 in music) included the singles All N My Grill, a collaboration with Nicole and Big Boi (from OutKast); Hot Boyz; and She's A Bitch.

Elliott next released Miss E... So Addictive in (2001, see 2001 in music). That album produced the massive singles, One Minute Man, featuring Ludacris, Trina, and Jay-Z and Get Ur Freak On, as well as the less successful single, Take Away, which featured soulful melodies from Ginuwine and the rising star, Tweet, and whose video was made into a loving tribute for their late friend, Aaliyah. For Get Ur Freak On, an usual remix was also released, which combined scat-singing from Nelly Furtado with Elliott's original rapping. The remix performed just as successfully as the original and was the version which was heard both in the Tomb Raider movie that year and on its soundtrack.

Tweet's own debut single, Oops (Oh My) was released in early 2002 and went on to become a huge hit, partially due to Elliott's guest rap on the track and Timbaland and Elliott's funky production of the single.

Elliott's fourth album, 2002's Under Construction (see 2002 in music), included Work It, arguably Elliott's biggest hit to date, and the successful duet with Ludacris, Gossip Folks, which let Elliott's critics know what she thought of what they had to say about her, namely her amazingly rapid weight loss that had taken place during 2002. As the Work It video had done during 2002, Gossip Folks became one of the most-played music videos on MTV, MTV2, MTV Jams, and BET in 2003, and was also extremely successful on VH1 and VH1 Soul.

In the summer of 2003, Elliott was the featured rapper on Timbaland and Magoo's long-awaited return single, Cop That Disc. The song became a modest hit at urban radio. Elliott's newest singles, Pass The Dutch and I'm Really Hot, from her fifth album, This Is Not A Test! (released November 2003), both rose the urban charts. However, neither caught on at pop radio as well as her previous efforts have.

Recently, Elliott has also been featured on Wyclef Jean's Party To Damascus and Ghostface Killah's Tush, Tush, Tush singles, demonstrating that even eight years after she first began offering production and vocal contributions to others' music, she is still as widely recognized and respected by her peers as ever.

In 2003, Elliott dropped the Misdemeanor part of her name and now goes by simply Missy Elliott.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.

Missy Elliott Facts

Birth NameMelissa Arnette Elliott
BirthdayJuly 1, 1971 (52)
BirthplacePortsmouth, Virginia, USA
Height5' 1½" (1m56)  How tall is Missy Elliott compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Bling, Bling, Bling, Driving School, Shoplifting Shakedown
Hi Mom
Janet Jackson
Breaking Out: The Alcatraz Concert
Hits of Miss E... The Videos, Vol. 1
Episode #5.4
Just for Kicks
The Chris Rock Show 09
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