Missy Elliott was on hand at Berklee College of Music’s commencement to accept their honorary degrees Saturday.
The five-time Grammy Award-winner whose U.S. sales have surpassed 30 million, was praised for bending genres, breaking stereotypes, and pushing musical, visual, and stylistic boundaries. Elliott is the first hip-hop artist to receive Berklee’s honorary doctorate.
“There will be ups and downs — prepare for that,” said Elliott in her remarks to the graduating class. After describing her own ups and downs, such as losing awards, being dropped from a label and becoming ill, she encouraged graduates to be patient through the struggle but to never give up on themselves. “As long as you are breathing, it is never too late. Don’t forget that. You have come too far to quit.”