Missy Elliott Becomes the First Rapper to Receive an Honorary Doctorate From Berklee College of Music


Photo Cedit: Paul Marotta/Getty Images for Berklee

Meet Dr. Missy Elliott.

On Saturday (May 12th) Missy Elliott and Justin Timberlake received honorary doctorates from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. (Orchestrator Alex Lacamoire, who delivered the commencement address, also received the honor.)

READ: Lizzo Connects with Missy Elliott for New Single “Tempo”

Elliott is the first hip-hop artist to receive an honorary degree from the prestigious college. When announcing Elliott, Berklee called the legendary artist a “groundbreaking solo superstar, pioneering producer, songwriter, singer, and rapper.”

According to CBS Boston, Elliott told a tale of resilience, mentioning setbacks like illness and being dropped from labels as things she had to overcome. She said:

There will be ups and downs — prepare for that…As long as you are breathing, it is never too late. Don’t forget that. You have come too far to quit.

READ: Missy Elliott to Receive an Honorary Degree From Berklee College Of Music

Missy Elliott was clearly overjoyed by the honor, she posted a social media post about her new title:

Justin Timberlake also gave an uplifting speech, saying:

You’re defined by what you define failure as. It’s not a thing if it leads you to your success. It’s all part of the journey…I hope that in the years to come, two things will happen: One, I will represent you in the way that you most hope for. And two, I look around and see this graduating class. Meet me at the studio. I want to see y’all!


Source: CBS Boston

Dimas Sanfiorenzo

Dimas Sanfiorenzo is the Managing Editor for Okayplayer. He specializes in coverage centered around music, pop culture, and politics. Email:

Published by
Dimas Sanfiorenzo

Recent Posts

Nick Cannon Talks Past Antisemitic Comments: “That Process Was A Growth Moment For Me”

In an interview with AllHipHop, Nick Cannon expressed his past remarks that impacted the Jewish… Read More

March 27, 2023

Questlove Is Directing A Live-Action Adaptation of ‘The Aristocats’

One year after winning an Oscar for Best Documentary, Questlove will direct a live-action adaption… Read More

March 27, 2023

Mixtape Monday: Teller Bank$, JPEGMAFIA x Danny Brown, Navy Blue, WateRR x Lupara + More

Teller Bank$, JPEGMAFIA x Danny Brown, Navy Blue, WateRR x Lupara and more this Mixtape… Read More

March 27, 2023

Top Dawg Says Fans Are Owed a New Black Hippy Project

During a Twitter Q&A on Monday, Top Dawg Entertainment founder Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith teased… Read More

March 27, 2023

Tyler, the Creator Announces Surprise Deluxe Album ‘The Estate Sale’

Two years after releasing his Grammy-winning album Call Me If You Get Lost, Tyler, the… Read More

March 27, 2023

Best Videos To Drop Last Week: Larry June, The Alchemist, Big Sean, Nas & More

Last week video releases from Hit-Boy, Nas, Lola Brooke, Larry June, The Alchemist and more… Read More

March 27, 2023