*Missy Elliot was honored with the Innovator of the Year Award at the 2015 Billboard Women in Music event, and Huffington Post notes how she became emotional as she accepted the award and delivered a moving speech that encouraged young women to continue to be creative.
“I stand here for all the women who’ve been told, ‘You don’t fit the mold, you’re not good enough, you won’t make it’ … Look at me, I’m here,” she said in her acceptance speech.
“I want y’all to know to continue to be creative and don’t be scared to take risks,” Elliott continued. “Being a woman in this industry, for me — as an artist, a writer, a producer — I’ve had my ups and downs and there’s times when I wanted to give up, but,” she added through tears, “God had another plan for me and if it weren’t for Him, I wouldn’t be standing here.”
She ended her speech with a shout out to late singer Aaliyah, saying: “I hope you’re looking down and you’re proud of me,” she said. “I miss you much.”
Elliott has stayed out of the spotlight in recent years – teasing fans with a performance of her classic hits at Super Bowl – and making a full return last month with a new single that was produced by Pharrell Williams.
Missy isn’t the only artist to receive top honors from Billboard. Lady Gaga was named woman of the year, while Loretta Lynn, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, Lana Del Rey, girl group Fifth Harmony, pop singer Tori Kelly and country singer Kelsea Ballerini were also honored at the event, along with 50 female music executives, ABC News reports. The music event also included guests Alicia Keys, Paul Rudd, Martina McBride and Jussie Smollett from “Empire.”’