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Musical Icon Missy Elliot Recognized for Her Legacy

Posted by Monique Freemon

The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards honored Missy Elliot with the Vanguard Award at the New Jersey Prudential Center Aug. 26.

The legendary rapper, songwriter, producer, and singer performed a medley of her most popular songs “The Rain,” “Hot Boyz,” “Get Ur Freak On,” “Work It,” “Pass that Dutch” and “Lose Control” from her 30-year career.

The overall post volume of her VMA performance was 16,000 with 99.3 percent of posts coming from Twitter. Most of the volume related to Elliot’s performance where from the United States by 60 percent (9,600), Unknown by 25.4 percent (4,100), Canada by 1.6 percent (515), United Kingdom by 2.5 percent (394) and South Africa by 0.9 percent (142).

Missy Elliot’s VMA performance received high volumes of attention worldwide on Twitter. Photos from Adam Brown Social Media Command Center Social Media Studio.

Elliot received positive responses to her performance. Both Rolling Stone and The New York Times stated her performance was one of the best of the night. The overall sentiment score was 74.1% negative because many people wanted her seven minute performance to be longer compared to past VMA performances.

There were negative posts surrounding Missy Elliot’s performance length. Photos from Adam Brown Social Media Command Center Social Media Studio.

Surprise Guest!
Elliot is known worldwide for her unique sound, lyrical flow and creative music videos but the musical juggernaut frequently collaborates with the dancing community. Many of her videos feature young up-and-coming dancers for exposure.

During the memorable performance, she brought out one of her former dancers, Alyson Stoner. Some people may remember her from the “Step Up” or Disney Channel’s “Camp Rock” films. Stoner originally rose to fame after dancing in Missy Elliot’s “Work It,” “Gossip Folks” and “I’m Really Hot” videos. Her volume increased during and after her stage appearance.

Alyson Stoner’s post volume increased after her appearance during Missy Elliot’s performance. Part of the image has been censored due to derogatory word. Photo from Adam Brown Social Media Command Center Social Media Studio.

Years of Support
Following Missy Elliot’s performance, Cardi B presented her with MTV’s highest achievement to celebrate Elliot’s decades-long legacy. While taking the stage, Elliot was given a standing ovation by a gleeful team of backup dancers and an ecstatic audience. The famous rapper humbly thanked everyone who supported and inspired her throughout the years. A few memorable mentions were Janet Jackson, Hype Williams, Busta Rhymes, Madonna, Aaliyah, the dance community, God and her mother.

There were many other memorable performances from artists such as Taylor Swift (performed “You Need to Calm Down” and “Lover”), Normani (performed “Motivation), Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello (performed “Señorita”), Lizzo (performed “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell”) and Miley Cyrus (performed “Slide Away”) as well. However, one of the most anticipated and praised performance was by the music icon.

Vanguard History

The award was presented during the inaugural 1984 VMAs with David Bowie and The Beatles as dual winners. It was renamed in 1991 to the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award to honor Jackson’s achievements. However, in recent months the award’s name has been surrounded by controversy due to allegations of molestation against Jackson. According to NBC News, MTV removed Michael Jackson’s name from the award during the show, but the award has not been officially renamed yet. The news affiliate stated MTV has not responded for a quote.

The Vanguard award is considered MTV’s highest honor an artist can received for their influence, legacy and contributions to the music industry. Artists like Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Bowie, and Jennifer Lopez have won the award in the past.

While wearing her sparkling “Iconic” necklace, Missy Elliot reminded the world of why she deserves this recognition. Sge has collaborated, produced and written songs for Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Ciara, TLC, Timbaland, Nelly Furtado, Remy Ma, and Raven Symone– to name a few. Elliot has inspired many artists such as SZA, M.I.A. and FKA Twigs to continue her legacy.

The full list of winners are here. For more information on Missy Elliot’s VMAs performance or to review the other performances, visit