For more than 30 years, groundbreaking rapper-producer Missy Elliott has played a significant role in putting Portsmouth, VA on the map in the music world. Now, following Monday’s unveiling of “Missy Elliott Boulevard,” the map of Portsmouth will forever bear her name.
The Portsmouth City Council in August voted unanimously to approve the street’s renaming in honor of one of the the award-winning artist. As city manager Tonya Chapman noted on Monday in an official bulletin from the city, “We’re beyond proud of Missy’s accomplishments and so thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate her right here in her hometown of Portsmouth, Virginia. Missy’s trailblazing career is a testament that when you dream big, anything is possible. We’re excited to celebrate her and rename this street in her honor.”
The city marked the renaming with a full day of events including a dedication ceremony on the newly rechristened stretch of road, which covers the portion of McLean St. between Greenwood Drive and Airline Boulevard, and a showcase at Manor High School, which Elliott attended as a student in the late 1980s. Elliott previously made a sizable donation to the school during a 2019 visit to its campus. With local fans filling the school’s 3,600-capacity football stadium, Missy, born Melissa Arnett Elliott, was honored with a series of performances of her music by a number of local HBCU marching bands in addition to all three local high schools.
In addition to Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott herself, the affair was attended by fellow locally bred artists like rapper Virginia Beach rapper Pusha-T, Petersburg, VA R&B singer Trey Songz, and super-producer Timbaland, a childhood friend and lifelong collaborator of Elliott’s whose rise to global prominence was often tied to hers.
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) October 18, 2022
Also on hand to honor Elliott in Portsmouth were Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, who made October 17th, 2022 “Missy Elliott Day” in the state by official proclamation, and Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover, who presented the rapper with a key to the city.
“As a native Virginian, she has inspired young women in the Commonwealth and beyond to pursue careers in the arts and music,” said Youngkin about Elliott. “She is the American dream!”
Scroll down to check out a selection of video clips and local news coverage from the Missy Elliott Boulevard renaming festivities in Portsmouth, VA.
— Timbaland (@Timbaland) October 17, 2022
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It’s officially Missy Elliott Day in Portsmouth, VA. pic.twitter.com/xKhmehhO4H
— Chariot of Pfizer *pflames emoji* (@C0URTNEE) October 17, 2022
Portsmouth Celebrates Missy Elliott With Street Renaming, Pep Rally – WTVR CBS 6
Missy Elliott Boulevard Dedication Coverage – WAVY TV 10
Missy Elliott Street Boulevard Dedication Coverage – 13News Now