The MTV Video Music Awards haven’t felt relevant in a while, and certainly not compared to their heyday in the early late 90s and 2000s. So what better way to try and recapture some of that former magic than by honoring a woman who was integral in defining the music video aesthetic during that era?
As it turns out, that’s exactly what MTV is doing. According to Variety, Missy Elliott will be the recipient of this year’s Video Vanguard award, which is their version of honoring an artist’s life work in the medium. Recent winners include Jennifer Lopez. Rihanna, and Kanye West.
“Missy’s impact on the music landscape is indelible,” Viacom’s Head of Music and Music Talent Bruce Gillmer said in a statement. “Her creative vision across production, performance and songwriting is unmatched.”
In total, Elliot has been nominated for a whopping 41 VMAs and taken home seven for hits like “Get Ur Freak On” and “WTF.” Her 2002 video for “Work It” took home the award for Video of The Year. MTV also announced that it’ll erect a pop-up museum in New York City, dedicated to Elliot’s expansive videography. With the MTV Video Music Awards set air on August 26, the exhibit is set to run from August 24-25 at a to-be-determined venue.
One thing that has yet to be determined is the official name of the award. While the official name is the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. MTV has reportedly discussed renaming it after the documentary Leaving Neverland chronicled years of alleged sexual abuse by Jackson. “There’s a lot of heated discussion at the network about how to handle the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award this year, and it’s getting ugly,” a source told Page Six in July. “There’s talk about if they should change the name, or get rid of it altogether. [There’s also talk] about who would present it and who would accept it. It’s a mess.”