Missy Elliott Becomes First Female Rapper To Receive Honorary Doctorate From Berklee College of Music

She’s one of the primary architects of contemporary rap and h-ip hop. And Missy Elliott was recognized as such on Saturday when Berklee College of Music awarded her with an honorary doctoral degree.

The 47-year-old icon became the first woman h-ip hop artist to receive the honor from the prestigious private college. Missy was grinning ear to ear at the packed graduation ceremony in front of graduating seniors and family. Though her outfit was obscured behind the slate gray robe, she was unmissable with her long, tightly-curled locks and yellow eyeshadow.

The Get Ur Freak On rapper received her degree and the university’s pink hood.

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She was one of three honorary recipients, along with pop superstar and former NSYNC member Justin Timberlake and Alex Lacamoire, a Berklee alumnus and an arranger and orchestrator for h-it Broadway shows like Dear Evan Hansen.

As part of her degree conferral, Missy (born Melissa Arnette Elliott) gave a speech in front of the assembled students. The five-time Grammy winner became noticeably emotional during her address, even shedding a few tears. In a statement from March announcing the honorary degree recipients, the college cited the Under Construction artists still unmatched run of six studio albums, all of which have been certified Platinum or better by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The prestigious distinction requires sales of at least one million units for each album.

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Prior to commencement, the Work It rapper was treated to a performance of her own music (along with that of her co-honorees).

Music students from the college performed her music, as well as tunes associated with Justin Timberlake and Alex Lacamoire during a Friday show at Boston’s Agganis Arena that was closed to the public. During the show, an overjoyed Missy danced on stage with Justin in a multicolored striped Versace track suit. Perhaps the feting will spur on the release of new music. The Cookbook mastermind announced on.

Social media in April that she’d completed work on a large project, presumably an album she’d mentioned back in April of 2018.

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