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Urban One Honors inducted the legend Missy Elliott as the Music Innovation Honoree for all her accolades throughout her career. During an emotional speech Missy paid tribute to the incredible women that impacted her life.

In our recent issue #276 of The Source Magazine, I wrote a feature about female camaraderie and how it’s lacking in today’s generation. I spoke about the influx of reality shows written around friendships and womanhood being broken down. I interviewed Debbie Allen for inspiration who said we have to lead by example. Publicly encourage and help those women near to you, not just the ones with a social following. In a tearful speech, Missy described her relationship with rapper Lil Kim over the years.

“First I want to thank Lil’ Kim cause…well… Lil’ Kim for us round here,” she said matter-of-factly. “It’s hard to find people in the industry that become like family. We’re beyond getting in front of cameras and pretending we are family. We are truly family. She’s been my sister for so long and I always have looked up to her….You are a trailblazer and an innovator and I want you to know that.”

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She thanked her mother for always being her “cheerleader. She continued singing praises to the founder of Urban One. “Cathy Hughes. We all are chosen but I believe that there are certain people who are chosen to be a vessel. And Cathy Hughes you are a vessel. You are bold you are fierce. You are strong, innovative. A visionary. Everything about you inspires me to keep doing what I do.”

She thanked Da Brat who joined her onstage when Missy became emotional.”These are my sisters, we have gone to each other’s houses…” She continued through tears, “I was sick, I couldn’t even hold a pen to write….and it was so much to say give up.”
Missy’s impactful speech should serve as not only inspiration but a mold to how black women should treat one another. Of course we can do it all by ourself, but we are stronger together.

Watch Missy’s speech below.