Missy Elliott will become the first female rapper to receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the upcoming 36th annual Video Music Awards scheduled for August 26.
This is the second year that the honorary award has gone to a female artist who was nearing 50; Elliott is 48.
Jennifer Lopez was 49 when she won last year. These are the oldest solo artists, at the time of the presentation, ever to receive the award. Film director Richard Lester was 52 when he received the award at the inaugural event in 1984.
Michael Jackson won the vanguard award in 1988 after which MTV named the award after him three years later.
Notably, MTV is continuing to name the award in Jackson’s honor. This is the first time the award has been presented since HBO aired the documentary Leaving Neverland, in which two men charged Jackson for sexually assaulting them when they were boys.
For Elliott, it is safe to say this year has been all about ”firsts”. On June 13, she became the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. She will also perform live at the VMAs making it her first appearance on the VMAs stage since 2003.
Elliott is a two-time video of the year winner at the VMAs. In 2001, she won it for “Lady Marmalade,” a collab with Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa and P!nk (who received the vanguard award two years ago).
In 2003, Elliott won again for her solo smash “Work It.” Elliott is one of just five artists who have won that award twice (counting both lead and featured credits).The other four have been Eminem, Rihanna, Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar.
Elliott is the fourth rap artist overall to receive the video vanguard honor, following LL Cool J (1997), Beastie Boys (1998) and Kanye West (2015).