Image Credit: CBS
Missy Elliott is bringing a huge dose of fierce to the 46th Annual Kennedy Center Honors. The legendary rapper, 52, serves as a presenter during the celebration, which will air December 27 on CBS. The “Work It” singer wows in a sequin black pantsuit and hat when she hits the stage to salute honoree Queen Latifah. She tops off her sparkling look with a necklace that has “ICONIC” emblazoned across it.
During her speech, Missy remembers how her friend Queen Latifah, 53, has always been an advocate for female rappers, even during the era when they were told it was a “man’s world.” Missy adds, “She was saying this unapologetically, changing the narrative right there.”
Queen Latifah and Missy go way back. They collaborated on the 2009 song “Fast Car.” In 2019, Queen Latifah inducted Missy into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Queen Latifah also inducted Missy into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2023. She witnessed Missy become the first female rapper to achieve that prestigious honor.
Missy Elliott on stage at the ‘Kennedy Center Honors’ special. (CBS)
Queen Latifah is one of 5 Kennedy Center Honorees and stuns in a black and metallic silver gown for the celebration. The other honorees include comedian Billy Crystal, acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming, The Bee Gees member Barry Gibb, and singer Dionne Warwick. Gloria Estefan, a former Kennedy Center Honoree, hosts the Kennedy Center Honors special for a third time.
Missy has undergone a physical transformation over the last 15 years. The “Get Ur Freak On” singer was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease in 2008 and lost a significant amount of weight. “It causes hair loss, your eyes bulge,” she told Billboard in 2015. “My blood pressure was always up from just overworking.”
Missy Elliott during the ‘Kennedy Center Honors’ special. (CBS)
Missy’s longtime friend Sharaya J told the outlet, “It started to change her way of life. 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.”