This year’s MTV Video Music Awards were all about Missy Elliott. A bunch of other people performed and received awards, but the reason to watch was Missy performing recreations of the music videos for her biggest hits, including “Get Ur Freak On,” “Work It,” “Pass That Dutch,” and “Lose Control.” She even brought back Alyson Stoner. It was great and you can watch it over and over again here.
The performance was pegged to Elliott receiving the Video Vanguard Award, honoring several decades of classic visuals. As Cardi B put it in a speech about Missy’s legacy, “Everybody has copied from Missy Elliott, even me.” Elliott accepted the award and delivered her acceptance speech while flanked by several dozen dancers.
“I promised I wouldn’t cry,” Elliott opened. “I have worked diligently for over two decades. I never thought that I would be standing up here receiving this award so it means so much to me. I promise you it don’t go unnoticed … the support and love that y’all have shown me over the years.”
Elliott went on to thank a lengthy list of collaborators and supporters, including longtime producer Timbaland, directors Hype Williams and Dave Meyers, choreographers Laurieann Gibson and Sean Bankhead, and more. She also shouted out Busta Rhymes, Peter Gabriel, Janet Jackson, and Madonna as inspirations.
“Lastly I want to dedicate this to the the dance community all around the world,” Missy closed, “because when y’all get on the stage with these artists, y’all are not just props, y’all are the icing on the cake, y’all are the beat to the heart, and so I dedicate this to every dance community out there.”
Watch Missy’s performance here and her Video Vanguard acceptance speech below.