Missy Elliott’s VMA speech about “working diligently” is a lesson for us all

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Hollie Richardson
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Missy Elliot at th VMAs

Missy Elliott reached icon status at the VMAs 2019, with a memorable live medley and heartleft award acceptance speech.

Missy Elliott is finally getting the official recognition she deserves for being the icon that she is. Earlier this year, it was announced that the music artist would be awarded the Video Vanguard Award at this year’s VMAs. Past winners include Madonna, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye, Justin Timberlake, and Britney Spears. So, it’s a pretty big deal. 

On Monday (26 August) the legendary rapper accepted the award with the most incredible live set and a touching speech about her 20-year career in the music industry. 

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Elliott gave a killer live medley performance with hits including Pass That Dutch, Throw It Back, Get Ur Freak On, Lose Control and Work It

Cardi B then joined Elliott on stage to present her with the covetable award. 

“I promised I wouldn’t cry because I cry every award [show], but the Video Vanguard award means so much to me,” she said. 

“I have worked diligently for over two decades. I never thought I’d be standing up here… it don’t go unnoticed, the support and love you’ve shown me over the years.”

Missy Elliott perfoming at the VTAs
Missy Elliott perfoming at the VTAs ahead of her Vanguard award acceptance speech.

She went on to thank other artists including Aaliyah, Timbaland, Busta Rhymes, Janet Jackson and Madonna. She also praised the dancers who have supported her over the last two decades.

“Lastly I want to dedicate this award to the dance communities all around the world. When y’all get on the stage with these artists, y’all are not just props,” she said, referring to the dancers who joined her on stage.

“Y’all are the icing on the cake, y’all are the beat to the heart. I dedicate this to every dance community out there.”

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It was a sincere speech, proving that hard work and appreciating the work and support of others will most likely get you far in life. 

Images: Getty


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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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