MUSICAL AND CULTURAL PIONEER MISSY ELLIOTT CELEBRATED IN BIRTHDAY BASH WITH FRIENDS — AND SPECIALTY COCKTAILS

Photo Credit: Derek Blanks

There’s no doubt that there are certain individuals who have flourished not just in their chosen art form, but also fundamentally changed the culture around them. Especially in music, there are multiple icons across all genres who are deservedly celebrated for their achievements and contributions to society. Yet so few of these recognitions go to women and people of color, much less a combination of the two. That’s why it’s so fulfilling to see hip-hop icon Missy Elliott get the kudos she’s rightfully earned in a recent birthday bash that saw the coming together of her many friends — and the recognition of several of her recent accomplishments.

Missy Elliott is, without competition, the most successful female hip-hop artist in recording history. Every one of her six albums has gone multi-platinum, her sales are upwards of 30 million in the U.S. alone, she has an honorary degree from Berklee College of Music, is an inductee — the first female and third-ever rapper — of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, has curated a successful music producing career and has fundamentally changed the way female hip-hop artists are seen in mainstream society. It’s no wonder then that at this recent celebration in Atlanta, Missy Elliott’s debut Supa Dupa Fly deservedly celebrated its 25th anniversary — the start of her illustrious career, commemorated in a custom plaque presented by Atlantic Records. But the biggest highlight of the evening was the celebration of Missy Elliott as the only solo female hip-hop artist in recording history to have gone platinum on every one of her albums — this too was commemorated in a custom plaque and presented by the RIAA.

Aside from the massive achievements and recognition of Missy Elliott’s long, illustrious career, the night was filled with lots of fun from friends, colleagues — and custom booze. The birthday event was curated by Monami Entertainment and produced by Presume Marketing Agency in partnership with PATRÓN Tequila, so it’s no surprise that there were specialty drinks on standby to keep the party going — in this case, six different cocktails each representing one of Missy Elliott’s six albums. But even without the alcohol, Missy Elliott and her friends ensured the night would be one to remember. Everyone — from Timbaland and Lil Kim to Taraji P Henson and Todd Tucker — came decked out in some variation of white and platinum attire and wrote personal messages of congratulations on a community wall. Even friends who couldn’t make it in-person, like Lil Wayne, paid their respects through virtual messages. The night culminated in a birthday party that attendants wouldn’t soon forget, for an icon who has long been a staple not just of hip-hop, but of society as a whole. Yet for Missy Elliott herself, she was just in awe of the whole night and happy that everyone could be present to celebrate:

It was amazing … I saw some of my peers that I hadn’t seen in a long time. So, it was really fun reconnecting with them – and the dancers, you know I love a good dance segment. It was chill, everyone was vibing; it just felt really good to be there.”

There are many female hip-hop artists and rappers who exist today, just as there are countless Black women and people of color calling out for gender quality and body positivity in modern society. Yet Missy Elliott has arguably tackled exactly that in her music — even now, with the surprise release of her EP ICONOLOGY in 2019. To have celebrated such a pioneer any other way, especially on her birthday, would have done Missy Elliott a disservice. But with the recognition of her many accomplishments and a night spent with close friends and colleagues, it’s just what Missy Elliott deserves. You can take a look at some of the many photos of the celebratory event below!

Photo Credit: Derek Blanks

Photo Credit: Derek Blanks

Photo Credit: Derek Blanks

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