Watch Missy Elliott Accept The Video Vanguard Award & Perform A Career-Spanning Medley At The VMAs

After years of campaigning by fans and her fellow artists alike, Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott is receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at tonight’s MTV Video Music Awards in Newark. Anyone familiar with Elliott’s mind-bending videos and unmistakable personal aesthetic realizes she’s one of the most deserving musicians to ever take home the Video Vanguard, an award that ostensibly exists to honor acts who’ve released a library of visionary music videos. She began by telling us she was supa dupa fly, and she spent the ensuing years proving it again and again.

Elliott preceded tonight’s VMAs broadcast by releasing her first collection of new music in 14 years, the Iconology EP. But she’s been back in the spotlight for a few years now: joining Katy Perry at the Super Bowl, guesting on Lizzo’s hit single “Tempo,” accepting various public honors like this one.

As Video Vanguard winners are wont to do, Elliott performed a career-spanning medley and gave an acceptance speech. There was a pre-taped bit with new single “Throw It Back,” then onstage at the Prudential Center she did “Supa Dupa Fly,” “Get Ur Freak On,” “Work It” (with a dance break by Alyson Stoner, who performed in the song’s video as a kid 17 years ago), “Pass That Dutch,” and “Lose Control.” The whole thing was very entertaining.

Cardi B then showed up on stage to present Elliott with her award. After some characteristic enthusiasm from Cardi, Elliott received her Moonperson and thanked a long list of collaborators such as Timbaland and video director Dave Meyers. She also shouted out her fellow video icons such as Busta Rhymes, Janet Jackson, and Madonna. She dedicated the award to “the dance community all around the world because when y’all get on the stage with these artists, y’all are not just props.”

Notably, all MTV branding and onstage personalities avoided calling it the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award despite the award being renamed in Jackson’s honor in 1991. Elliott, however, invoked Jackson’s name while accepting the award and also thanked his sister: “Janet Jackson, I know you are watching. I love you. I thank you for being such a great friend.”

Here’s the medley:

And here’s Cardi presenting the award to Elliott: