Missy Elliott, often known professionally as Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, is an American rapper, dancer, and record producer.
Let’s see some fun facts about her!
1. Melissa Arnette “Missy” Elliott was born July 1, 1971 in Portsmouth, Virginia.
2. She is the only child of mother Patricia Elliott, a power-company dispatcher, and father Ronnie, a U.S. Marine no longer on active duty working as a Shipyard welder.
3. Elliott grew up in an active church choir family, and singing was a normal part of her youth.
4. At the age of four in 1975, she wanted to be a performer, and, as biographer Veronica A. Davis writes, she “would sing and perform for her family”.
5. In later years, she feared no one would take her seriously, because she was always the class clown. While her father was an active Marine, the family lived in Jacksonville, North Carolina, in a manufactured home community.
6. Elliott blossomed during this part of her life. She enjoyed school for the friendships she formed though she had little interest in school work.
7. She would later get well above average marks on intelligence tests, and she was advanced two years ahead of her former class.
8. Her move in grades caused isolation, and she purposely failed, eventually returning to her previous class. When her father returned from the Marines, they moved back to Virginia, where they lived in extreme poverty.
9. Life in Virginia saw many hardships. Elliott tells of domestic abuse by her father.
10. She refused to stay over at friends’ homes out of fear that, on her return home, she would find her mother dead.
11. When Elliott was eight, she was molested by a cousin.
12. In one violent incident, Ronnie Elliott dislocated his wife’s shoulders and, during another, Elliott herself was threatened with a gun.
13. At fourteen, Elliott’s mother decided to end the situation; she fled with her daughter under the guise of taking a joyride on a local bus.
14. In reality, the pair had found refuge at a family member’s home where their possessions were stored in a loaded U-Haul truck. Elliott tells that she feared her father would kill them both for leaving. She later stated, “When we left, my mother realized how strong she was on her own, and it made me strong. It took her leaving to realize.”
15. Elliott graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1990.
16. Elliott embarked on her music career with all-female R&B group Sista in the early 1990s and later became a member of the Swing Mob collective along with childhood friend and longtime collaborator Timbaland, with whom she worked on projects for Aaliyah, 702, Total, and SWV.
17. Following several collaborations and guest appearances, she launched her solo career in 1997 with her debut album Supa Dupa Fly, which spawned the hit singles “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” and “Sock It 2 Me”. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, the highest-charting debut for a female rapper at the time.
18. Elliott’s following album Da Real World (1999), produced the singles “She’s a Bitch”, “All n My Grill”, and top five hit “Hot Boyz”.
19. With the release of Miss E… So Addictive (2001), Under Construction (2002), and This Is Not a Test! (2003) Elliott established an international career that yielded hits including “Get Ur Freak On”, “One Minute Man”, “4 My People”, “Gossip Folks”, and “Work It”.
20. The latter won her a Grammy Award for Best Female Rap Solo Performance; Elliott went on to win five Grammy Awards and sell over 30 million records in the United States.
21. Elliott has said that she wants to start a family, but she is afraid of giving birth. She states, “I don’t know if I can take that kind of pain [of labor]. Maybe in the year 2020 you could just pop a baby out and it’d be fine. But right now I’d rather just adopt.”
22. In June 2011, Elliott told People magazine that her absence from the music industry was due to a hyperthyroid disorder known as Graves’ disease.
23. She was diagnosed after she nearly crashed a car from having severe leg spasms. She experienced severe symptoms from the condition, and she could not even hold a pen up to write songs. After treatment, her symptoms stabilized, and she has announced that she would like to get back to her career.
24. In 2005, it was announced that there are plans to make a biographical film about the life story of Elliott and is to be shown in theaters. Producers include Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, and the film is being written and directed by Diane Houston.
25. In mid-June 2007, Elliott said she was still working on the script with Diane Houston in order “to come up with the right stuff ’cause I don’t want it to be watered down. I want it to be raw and uncut the way my life was” Initially, it seemed Timbaland wouldn’t be a part of the movie. When Missy asked him, he refused, citing he felt it dramatized his character; “the movie is about her life, her story, that goes deeper than putting me into the movie”. However, Timbaland has since stated that he would reconsider if she could get others, including Ginuwine and Magoo to sign on.
26. In 2002, Elliott wrote a letter on behalf of PETA to the mayor of Portsmouth, Virginia, asking that all shelter animals be neutered/spayed before being adopted.
27. For the reality show The Road to Stardom, there was a contest for viewers to create a public service ad for the Break the Cycle fund.
28. In 2004, she joined forces with MAC Cosmetics to promote their “Viva Glam” campaign.
29. In addition to the ad campaign, Elliott promoted the MAC Viva Glam V lipstick from which 100% of the sale goes to the MAC AIDS Fund.
30. In 2007, Elliott appeared on an ABC’s Extreme Makeover and awarded four scholarships for a weight loss program to four underprivileged teens.
31. Elliott co-wrote and co-produced two tracks on Whitney Houston’s 1998 album My Love Is Your Love, providing vocal cameos for “In My Business” and “Oh Yes”.
32. The same year, Elliott also produced and made a guest appearance on Spice Girl Melanie Brown’s debut solo single, “I Want You Back”, which topped the UK Singles Chart.