In Numbers: The staggering career of Missy Elliott
(Credits: Alamy)


In Numbers: The staggering career of Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott is one of hip hop’s most cherished female MCs. Rising to prominence by the side of Timbaland in the mid-1990s, the rapper (real name Melissa Elliott) is loved for her funny lyrics, provocative raps and outlandish music videos that leave her listeners mindblown. Known as one of hip hop’s first mainstream female MCs, Missy is definitely one of the greats.

With the Virginia rapper rising to fame during the mid-1990s, her career would not begin properly until her departure from the Swing Mob with Timbaland. Together the two continued to make music working behind the scenes writing and producing for R’n’B acts, such as Aaliyah, SWV and Total. Elliott did feature on some of these tracks. However, in 1997, when Elliott released her debut album, Supa Dupa Fly, her career skyrocketed. 

Elliott’s first album would give the rapper her first top 20 hit with ‘Sock It 2 Me’. The album landed at number three on the Billboard 200, becoming the highest charting album debut for a female rapper. Continuing to work alongside her good friend Timbaland, Elliot would release her second album, Da Real World, in 1999, and by 2000, the album was quickly certified platinum by the RIAA.  

Missy Elliot would be a permanent figure in the mainstream throughout the noughties, and she has been recognised as a boundary breaker. Elliott was the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 2019.

So, with such an illustrious career, it is only fitting that we look back and analyse the facts and figures that detail the staggering career of Missy ‘Misedemanour’ Elliot.

Missy Elliott’s solo albums

Across her 30-year career, Missy has released a total of six studio albums, three compilation albums and one EP. Elliot’s most successful album to date is her 2002 fourth album, Under Construction. The album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 but did not fare so well in the UK, peaking at only 23. 

Under Construction spawned several platinum hits, including, ‘Work It’ which reached number two just behind Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’. The album also ‘Gossip Folks’, which peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and number nine on the UK Singles Charts. Timbaland produced both songs.

Missy Elliott’s most streamed song

Missy Elliott’s most streamed song is her 2002 single ‘Work It’, from the album Under Construction. The song currently has 225 million streams on Spotify.

That is as a lead artist. As a featured artist, Elliot’s most streamed song is Ciara’s ‘1, 2 Step’, which has accumulated 393.2 million streams on Spotify. The 2004 song, on which Elliott delivers a verse, went triple platinum and peaked at number two in the US.

Missy Elliott’s biggest video on YouTube

As a lead artist, Missy Elliott’s most popular YouTube video is her 2002 single ‘Work It’, which currently sits at 132 million views. Of course, the music video pre-dates the website YouTube and was on TV screens in 2002 as the lead single for her album Under Construction, but has managed to accumulate 132 million views since its upload in 2009.

As a featured artist, Missy Elliot’s most popular YouTube video is Ciara’s 2004 anthem, ‘1, 2 Step’, which has accumulated 249 million views since its upload in 2009.

Missy Elliott’s net worth

In 2022, Missy ‘Misdemeanour’ Elliott has a net worth of approximately $50 million. As of 2022, she is a five-time Grammy award winner and is the only female rapper to have six of her albums platinum-certified.