Missy Elliott shared her long, winding road to success on VH1’s "Behind the Music."
Missy has had to fight incredible odds, not just to make it in the music business, but in life as well. The latest episode of "Behind the Music" shed light on her beginnings in Virginia, where she was witness to horrific domestic violence and subject to sexual molestation at a very young age.
Her only refuge during those difficult times, aside from a close bond with her mother, was music. "Everything that I went through as a kid, it was like music was my outlet," Missy said. "I would just make up songs."
Her family members remember Missy singing around the house, which proved to be the start of a long journey to superstardom, despite its various obstacles. Missy’s story is a study in persevering and succeeding against all the odds.
Missy’s sound developed as she met her now-long-time collaborator Timbaland. "When I first met Missy, it was incredible," he said. "It was definitely God’s gift to put us together."
While Timbaland knew they had something special right away, the rest of the world didn’t catch on quite as quickly. Initially when Missy hit the scene, executives were digging the sound she had with her now-defunct girl group, Sista, but they didn’t think the world was ready for her look.
During a meeting with Mary J. Blige, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul told Missy to keep her head up. "I was like you are extremely talented and everything that’s trying to pull you back, you’re going to surpass it," MJB recalled. "When I saw Missy Elliott, I saw nothing but a star."
Eventually, after a tumultuous night with DeVante Sway, Missy decided to leave her group and DeVante’s management.
Find out how Missy made her big come back by working with Aaliyah and Diddy when you watch "Behind the Music" below.
— Sonya Eskridge