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50 facts about Missy Elliott: she was always the class clown

At the age of four in 1975, she wanted to be a performer, although she knew no one took her seriously, because she was always the class clown. Learn 50 facts about Elliott.

1. Her first major success came as a songwriter with childhood friend and producer Timbaland on projects for Aaliyah, 702, Total, and SWV.

2. As a record producer and songwriter, she has worked with Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, and Beyoncé as well as contemporary artists Keyshia Cole, Tamia, Monica and Ciara.

3. In the late 1990s, Elliott expanded her career as a solo artist and rapper, eventually winning five Grammy Awards and selling over 30 million records in the United States.

4. Elliott is the only female rapper to have six albums certified platinum by the RIAA, including one double platinum for her 2002 album Under Construction.

5. Elliott is also known for a series of hits and diverse music videos, including "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)", "Hot Boyz", "Get Ur Freak On", "Work It", and the Grammy award-winning video for "Lose Control."

6. Melissa Arnette Elliott was born on July 1, 1971, in Portsmouth, Virginia.

7. She is the only child of mother Patricia, a power-company dispatcher, and father Ronnie, a U.S. Marine.

8. At the age of four in 1975, she wanted to be a performer, although she knew no one took her seriously, because she was always the class clown.

9. While her father was a Marine, the family lived in Jacksonville, North Carolina, in a mobile home.

10. Elliott enjoyed school for the friendships she formed and had little interest in school work.

11. An intelligence test classified her well above average, and she jumped two years ahead of her class. This made her feel increasingly isolated, and she purposely failed all her classes, eventually returning to her previous class.

12. When her father returned from the Marines, they moved back to Virginia, where they lived in extreme poverty.

13. Elliott's childhood was strongly affected by domestic abuse committed by her father.

14. When Elliott was fourteen, she and her mother fled her father by sneaking out under the guise of a normal bus ride; the pair in reality went to a family member's home where their possessions were loaded into a U-Haul truck. Elliott lived with the fear that her father would kill them both for leaving.

15. Elliott and her father occasionally talk, but the singer says she hasn't forgiven him. She later stated, "When we left, my mother realized how strong she was on her own, and it made me strong. It took her leaving to realize."

16. In the early 1990s, Elliott formed an all female R&B group, called Fayze (later renamed Sista), with friends La'Shawn Shellman, Chonita Coleman, and Radiah Scott.

17. She recruited her neighborhood friend Timothy Mosley as the group's producer and began making demo tracks, among them included the promo "First Move".

18. In 1991, Fayze caught the attention of Jodeci member and producer DeVante Swing by performing Jodeci songs a cappella for him backstage after one of his group's concerts.

19. After leaving Swing Mob, Elliott and Timbaland worked together as a songwriting/production team, crafting tracks for acts including SWV and 702, but the most notable of them was Aaliyah.

20. The pair wrote and produced nine tracks for Aaliyah's second album, One in a Million (1996), among them the hit singles "If Your Girl Only Knew", "One in a Million", "Hot Like Fire", and "4 Page Letter".

21. Elliott contributed background vocals and/or guest raps to nearly all of the tracks on which she and Timbaland worked.

22. One in a Million went double-platinum and made stars out of the production duo.

23. Elliott and Timbaland continued to work together for other artists, later creating hits for artists such as Total ("What About Us?", 1997), Nicole Wray ("Make It Hot", 1998), and Destiny's Child ("Get on the Bus", 1998), as well as one final hit for Aaliyah, "I Care 4 U" before her death in 2001.

24. Elliott began her career as a featured vocalist rapping on Sean "Puffy" Combs's Bad Boy remixes to Gina Thompson's "The Things That You Do", (which had a video featuring cameo appearances by Notorious B.I.G and Puff Daddy), MC Lyte's 1996 hit single Cold Rock a Party (backup vocals by Gina Thompson), and New Edition's 1996 single "You Don't Have to Worry".

25. In addition Elliott written the bulk of Total's second and final album Kima, Keisha, and Pam and Nicole Wray's debut Make It Hot (both released in 1998).

26. Also that year Elliott appeared on the Men of Vizion's remix of "Do Thangz" which was produced by Rodney Jerkins (coincidentally the producer of the original version of "The Things That You Do").

27. She signed a deal with East West Records, a division of Elektra Entertainment Group at that time, in 1996 to create her own imprint, The Goldmind Inc., for which she would record as a solo artist.

28. Timbaland was again recruited as her production partner, a role he would hold on most of Elliott's solo releases.

29. Missy also appeared in LSG's song "All the Time" with Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill, Faith Evans, and Coko in 1997 on Levert Sweat Gill classic album.

30. The same year, she rapped in "Keys To My House" with old friends group LeVert.

31. While Elliott wrote and rapped on Raven-Symoné's 1993 debut single, "That's What Little Girls Are Made Of", she also contributed songwriting duties, credited and uncredited, to the final two Jodeci albums Diary of a Mad Band (1993) and The Show, the After Party, the Hotel (1995).

32. Elliott was an honoree of the 2007 VH1 Hip Hop Honors. In honor of her career, many artists performed some of her biggest hits.

33. In 2007, she worked with Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, Danja, T-Pain and DJ Toomp and planned to release an album at the beginning of 2008.

34. While Elliott did also release the song "Best, Best" in 2008, she renamed the album from FANomenal to its current tentative title to Block Party in 2008. She later decided against Block Party and four years later, in 2012, Elliott released two Timbaland-produced singles ("9th Inning" and "Triple Threat") exclusively to iTunes.

35. In between the recording of her seventh album, Missy Elliott found success behind the scenes. Elliott's writing and production helped her reach #1 on Billboard‍ '​s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs with Keyshia Cole's "Let It Go" (2007), Jazmine Sullivan's "Need U Bad" (2008), and Monica's "Everything to Me" (2010). Since 2008, songs written and/or produced by Elliott for Fantasia ("Free Yourself"), Jennifer Hudson ("I'm His Only Woman"), Monica ("Everything to Me"), Keyshia Cole ("Let It Go"), and Jazmine Sullivan ("Need U Bad" and "Holding You Down (Goin' in Circles)") have all received Grammy nominations.

36. In the summer of 2010, Elliott embarked on a 2 part tour with stops in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, while she also performed at VH1's "Hip Hop Honors: The Dirty South" in a tribute to Timbaland, performing "Get Ur Freak On" and "Work It".

37. In 2011 and 2012, Elliott made guest appearances on "All Night Long" by Demi Lovato, "Nobody's Perfect" by J. Cole, the remix of "Why Stop Now" by Busta Rhymes with Chris Brown and Lil Wayne, and a remix of Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" that helped catapult "T.G.I.F." to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

38. She also produced Monica's singles "Anything (To Find You)" and "Until It's Gone".

39. Elliott has said that she wants to start a family, but she is afraid of giving birth. She states, "I don't know if I can take that kind of pain [of labor]. Maybe in the year 2020 you could just pop a baby out and it'd be fine. But right now I'd rather just adopt."

40. In June 2011, Elliott told People magazine that her absence from the music industry was due to a hyperthyroid disorder known as Graves' disease.

41. She was diagnosed after she nearly crashed a car from having severe leg spasms. She experienced severe symptoms from the condition, and she could not even hold a pen up to write songs. After treatment, her symptoms stabilized, and she has announced that she would like to get back to her career.

42. In 2005, it was announced that there are plans to make a biographical film about the life story of Elliott and is to be shown in theaters. Producers include Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, and the film is being written and directed by Diane Houston.

43. In mid-June 2007, Elliott said she was still working on the script with Diane Houston in order "to come up with the right stuff 'cause I don't want it to be watered down. I want it to be raw and uncut the way my life was" Initially, it seemed Timbaland wouldn't be a part of the movie. When Missy asked him, he refused, citing he felt it dramatized his character; "the movie is about her life, her story, that goes deeper than putting me into the movie". However, Timbaland has since stated that he would reconsider if she could get others, including Ginuwine and Magoo to sign on.

44. In 2002, Elliott wrote a letter on behalf of PETA to the mayor of Portsmouth, Virginia, asking that all shelter animals be neutered/spayed before being adopted.

45. For the reality show The Road to Stardom, there was a contest for viewers to create a public service ad for the Break the Cycle fund.

46. In 2004, she joined forces with MAC Cosmetics to promote their "Viva Glam" campaign.

47. In addition to the ad campaign, Elliott promoted the MAC Viva Glam V lipstick from which 100% of the sale goes to the MAC AIDS Fund.

48. In 2007, Elliott appeared on an ABC's Extreme Makeover and awarded four scholarships for a weight loss program to four underprivileged teens.

49. Elliott co-wrote and co-produced two tracks on Whitney Houston's 1998 album My Love Is Your Love, providing vocal cameos for "In My Business" and "Oh Yes".

50. The same year, Elliott also produced and made a guest appearance on Spice Girl Melanie Brown's debut solo single, "I Want You Back", which topped the UK Singles Chart.

Source: Wikipedia.org

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Missy Elliott

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