Grammy, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Queen Latifah inducted Missy Elliott with kind words as she paid homage to their long-lasting friendship.
Former US first lady Michelle Obama took her turn to say how much of a Missy Elliott fan she is.
“Missy, I want to thank you for all of your trailblazing ways,” Obama said in a taped video that aired during the event.
“Thank you not for just sharing your gift with the world, but for being an advocate for so many people out there, especially young girls who are still figuring out how to make their voices heard.”
Near the end of her 10-minute speech, Elliott broke down after telling funny and deep stories about how her creative mind worked as a child.
“I am thankful,” she said, pausing for a few seconds.
“Every time I come up to a podium … even with all the work that I’ve done, I don’t know, and I’m assuming it’s just God, I don’t know why I am here,” she said with tears in her eyes as the audience erupted with cheers and applause.
“I want to say one thing to the writers, to the upcoming writers, ‘Do not give up’. We all go through writer’s block. Sometimes you just have to walk away from a record and come back to it. But don’t give up because I’m standing here. And this is big for hip-hop, too.”
British singer Cat Stevens was also inducted at the 50th annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction and awards ceremony at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.