Emma McIntyre—2017 Getty Images
By Cady Lang
August 12, 2019

Iconic rapper Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott will be honored with the 2019 Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award at this year’s annual MTV Video Music Awards on August 26. The four-time Grammy winner will be the first female rapper with receive the award and the fourth rap artist to be honored, following LL Cool J (1997), the Beastie Boys (1998), and Kanye West (2015).

Elliott’s music videos, which could feature anything from her sporting a voluminous, trash bag-esque ensemble to breakdancing children, are often held up as watershed moments in pop culture, hailed for their innovation when it came to concept, fashion and aesthetics. Legendary music video directors Hype Williams and Dave Meyers were frequent collaborators, but it was Elliott’s confident, funny and dynamic spirit, so evident to her fans, that were present in the visuals as much as her songs.

Elliott took to her Twitter following the announcement on Monday that she would be receiving the award, thanking her fans for their support throughout the years.

It’s been an auspicious year for recognition for Elliott; this June, she made history when she became the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Elliott’s performance at the 2019 VMAs will be her first since 2006.

Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com.

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