Billboard has announced that Missy Elliott, who graces this week’s cover will be honored with the brand’s first ever ‘Innovator’ award at this year’s Women in Music event, to be televised on Lifetime on December 18.
Missy Elliott, who has taken a substantial amount of time off in between releasing any music, opens up to Billboard in today’s cover story about the unreleased songs she recorded during her break, her pre Super Bowl performance meltdown, living with Graves’ disease, and her long awaited comeback.
Missy had a full blown panic attack right before she performed for the Super Bowl:
“Like, IVs in my arm, everything,” she says. “Nobody knew.” The day of the show, she -remembers being just offstage and -hearing the -opening riff of “Get Ur Freak On.” “I said, ‘If I can get over this step, then I know all my dance steps will be on point,’ ” she recalls. “I know it was nothing but the grace of God that lifted me up and took me through that -performance.”Elliott sold nearly 350,000 song downloads by the end of the following week alone.
She has about 6 albums worth of unreleased music from the past decade:
“If I wanted to do The Missing Files of Missy Elliott, I have probably six albums just sitting there,”
On living with Graves’ disease:
“It causes hair loss, your eyes bulge,” she says. “My blood pressure was always up from just overworking.”
Sharaya J., an artist signed under Elliot, on how the disease affected her:
“It started to change her way of life,” she says. “There were -physical changes, extreme headaches, extreme weight loss. What that does to a person, being a public figure and knowing people are looking, judging? That’s a tough thing.”
On taking such a long break in between albums:
“People hadn’t realized that I haven’t just been an artist, I’ve been a writer and a producer for other artists. When you’re writing that much, your brain is like a computer. You have to refresh it.”
On being overly shy as an adult:
“I was always feisty, always that kid that would be on the porch with a hairbrush -singing or rapping,” she says. “I got more shy as I got older and realized people could be laughing at me, or judging me.”
Pharrell WIlliams on being bringing Missy back into the spotlight:
“I was -willing to assist her in any way possible,” says Williams, “all the way down to doing music if that’s what she wanted me to do.”