Missy Elliott will be honored at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. The show’s version of a Lifetime Achievement Award has been handed out since the inaugural VMAs in 1984, where David Bowie, the Beatles and Richard Lester were the first winners.
Over the course of her career, Elliott has been nominated for 41 VMAs, winning seven. This year will mark the rapper’s first performance at the VMAs since 2003, when she performed “Work It” after the “scandalous” kiss between Madonna and Britney Spears during their rendition of “Like a Virgin” and “Hollywood” with Christina Aguilera. That same year, Elliott and “Work It” took home the trophy for Video of the Year.
“Missy’s impact on the music landscape is indelible,” Viacom’s Head of Music and Music Talent Bruce Gillmer said in a statement. “Her creative vision across production, performance and songwriting is unmatched.”
MTV will partner with Pepsi to further honor Elliott with celebrity and fan videos celebrating the rapper’s legacy. The network is also prepping a pop-up museum that will immerse attendees in Elliott’s futuristic, iconic videos. The pop-up will take place at an as-yet-unannounced location in New York City between August 24th and 25th.
The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award has been given out at the VMAs since 1984 and was named for Jackson in 1991. It has not been given out annually, although each show since 2013 has featured it. Last month, speculation arose about whether or not the show would rename the award following fallout from HBO’s harrowing documentary Leaving Neverland, which recounted sexual abuse allegations against Jackson. A rep for MTV did not respond to a request for comment, though the network’s official press release notes Jackson’s name in tact.
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