Missy Elliott and Janet Jackson, two of the baddest women in music, shared an iconic moment at Essence’s Women in Music event on Thursday night (25th January).
Jackson, 51, made a surprise appearance at the Highline Ballroom in NYC to present Elliott, 46, with Essence magazine’s Visionary award in honour of her incredible music career.
In a heartfelt speech, Jackson, who flew in from the UK especially to present the award, paid tribute to her Burnitup! collaborator gushing: “Some act, some choreograph, some write hit songs, some create whole new sounds, some women are able to make their mark in one of these fields, but there’s only one woman who has made her mark in all these fields.
“Not only have you made your mark, but she’s done so with boldness and courage.”
Praising both Elliott’s talent and character, Jackson continued: “Creativity is a beautiful thing, and when creativity flows so freely from a musical genius, all we can do is express gratitude.
#IMGRATEFUL @janetjackson that u would fly over from the UK while on tour to present me with the #BlackWomenInMusic @essence Award last night of course I’M A BIG BABY & i COULD’NT STOP CRYING TEARS of HAPPINESS😫🙏🏾 our SISTERSHIP has lasted over 17 years!🙌🏾Your the definition of REALNESS/HUMILITY/CARING/INSPIRING/UPLIFTING/FIERCE/BOLD/RISKTAKING/BLACK STRONG& BEAUTIFUL oh & RICH💰Girl u know I had to throw a joke in it🤷🏽♀️🤣but I LOVE you sis for always being there for me from Day 1🤗😘thank u @essence for the love u showed me I am Humbly Grateful🙏🏾
“I am so grateful for Missy’s beautiful soul. I am grateful for her creativity, her energy, grateful for her soaring inspiration. I’m grateful for how she stood toe-to-toe with the guys, showing them that a woman can do it all, take charge, lead the way, innovate and create without fear. Grateful for how she’s cleared the way, the path, for new generations of young talent to follow.”
Needless to say, Elliott was overwhelmed with Jackson’s kind words and cried, in her own words, “like a big baby”.
After gracing the stage, Elliott said in her own speech: “That was a surprise. I’ve known Janet over a decade — and this is not just someone I do music with. I can call Janet any time of night and she will listen. The times that I may have felt like giving up, she’s always given me an encouraging word.”
The Get Ya Freak On rapper continued: “I wouldn’t want to be any other color but black. I’m black and I’m proud. There’s something about our DNA that can’t be taught. It comes from a different place. I want y’all, all of you women in here, to know that you’re beautiful. You’ve gotta believe in yourself, because there are going to be times that people tell you [that] you can’t do it or you don’t look the part. But I’m a walking testimony [that you can].
“Essence magazine has over the decades shown me what strong power black women look like. I appreciate that.”
Nice to see two successful women raise each other up!