Missy Elliott to Receive MTV VMA Vanguard, Award Long Overdue

Missy Elliott will finally grace the MTV audience at the VMAs as a recipient of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at this year’s ceremony.

The MTV Video Music Awards have righted a wrong as they select Missy Elliott as the recipient for the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award (renamed in MJ’s honor in 1991). For those of you who aren’t privy, the award is for those who excel specifically in visual arts. Past recipients have included those such as Madonna, Guns N’ Roses and Janet Jackson.

You may recall when Rihanna recently accepted the award after an awkward embrace between herself and the 6-God. For an award that centers around an artist’s ability to captivate audiences visually, it is crazy that Missy Elliott’s selection came this late in the game.

Better late than never. This is Missy Elliott we are referring to. The Virginia native is not only a queen of hip-hop, but a master of images. In “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)”, Missy created one of the most memorable images to music audiences with her blow-up suit that fans continue to confuse with a fancy garbage bag.

The constant zoom-in on her finger waves and over-sized red glasses and even the all-white wardrobe in the beach setting opened the door to a level of creativity and attention to detail few artists push to experience.

Missy Elliot set a standard with her video releases. “Work It” received more than five nominations in 2004 at the MTV Video Music Awards – although without a victory – for categories such as Art Direction and Cinematography. The video was well worth the recognition.

The bees swarming the record in the video’s first shot only signaled that this was one of those otherworldly trips Missy Elliott was about to take her fans on and she always captivated. The appreciation of her visual achievement, primarily in this arena, is long overdue.

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As she accepts the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award Monday, August 26 at 8:00 on MTV, tune in to watch a queen receive her due.

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