Saturday (May 11th), Missy Elliott made history as she received an honorary doctorate degree, awarded by the Berklee College of Music. 

Among a group of honorees that included Justin Timberlake and Alex Lacamoire, the five-time Grammy award-winner became the very first hip-hop act, male or female, to be presented with an honorary doctorate from the prestigious institution, a fitting culmination for the veteran’s decades-long career.

She now joins the ranks of the likes of Duke Ellington, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin and Quincy Jones, who have all been awarded the honor.

“This year’s honorary doctorate recipients are being recognized for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring global impact,” read a statement from the school.

In June, Missy is also set to become the only female hip-hop artist to ever be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. 

“It’s amazing. To me, it’s important to have equality,” said Hall FO Fame chairman Nile Rodgers, who announced the decision in January of this year. “I’ve written with a lot of women songwriters, but not nearly enough. That’s sort of my secret goal — I want to have more women songwriters.”

He would add that Elliot is one of his “favorite writers of all time.”


Missy Elliott Awarded Honorary Doctorate From Berklee College of Music