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Missy Elliott Honored With Innovator Award at Billboard’s Women in Music Awards

by Ariana Gordon   Dec 13, 2015 13:10 PM EST

This has certainly been a big year for hip-hop icon, Missy Elliott. And it recently got even better with the Innovator Award at Billboard's Women in Music Awards. Elliott was presented the award by singer Ciara, who collaborated with Elliott in for the dance number "1, 2 Step" in 2004, as well as "Lose Control" and "Work." Ciara also grabbed Elliott to jump on the dance-worthy, "That's How I'm Feeling," which also featured Cuban-American rapper, Pitbull.

Ciara had nothing but good things to say about the "Where They From" artist. "There's no one like her," she said. "I haven't seen a video that compares to hers yet—only Michael Jackson!" she continued, earning a few laughs from Elliott and other attendees.

The two flicked it up as Ciara gushed on social media, "This Goes Down As 1 Of The Coolest Moments Of My Life! Giving My Sis @>MissyElliott The @Billboard #InnovatorAward"

Elliott became emotional after Ciara's heartfelt intro, and took the stage to accept the award and testify to breaking down walls in the music industry. "I stand here for all the women who've been told, 'You don't fit the mold, you're not good enough, you won't make it,'" she said. "Look at me, I'm here."

The multi-talented artist then encouraged all who listened to never stop pursuing dreams. "I want y'all to know to continue to be creative and don't be scared to take risks," she said. "Being a woman in this industry, for me—as an artist, a writer, a producer—I've had my ups and downs and there's times when I wanted to give up, but," she continued emotionally, "God had another plan for me and if it weren't for Him, I wouldn't be standing here."

Elliott also didn't forget to thank those who have been there from the beginning, including Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, Magoo and Janet Jackson. She had a special message for the late Aaliyah, whom she'd developed a strong friendship before the singer's death over a decade ago: "I hope you're looking down and you're proud of me," she said. "I miss you much."

The "Supa Dupa Fly" rapper said she hopes to drop a new album soon, but until then you can catch her—and her dancers, who performed to a mash-up of some of Elliott's hottest records—when Billboard's Women in Music Awards airs Dec. 18 on Lifetime at 8 p.m. ET.

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