In the late 1990s, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott became well-known for her bizarre songs and even worse attire. Elliott's musical prowess as a singer, songwriter, and producer was evident in the regular release of singles like "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" and "All N My Grill." However, after the release of her hit song "Get Ur Freak On" in 2001, Elliott saw one of the biggest career boosts. The song rose fast to the No. 7 position on the Billboard Hot 100. The Virginia native received her first Grammy Award for the song, which served as the first single from the album "Miss E... So Addictive."
Following that, Elliott's career continued to flourish. Throughout the early 2000s, the performer continued to turn forth hits. Her follow-up album, "Under Construction," garnered similar positive reviews, and the platinum-selling single "Work It" has since become Elliott's most popular solo track. Elliott was battling with a major medical problem at the time, which nearly prevented her from pursuing a successful music career.
Fans were stunned in 2011 when Missy Elliott revealed she had previously been diagnosed with Graves' illness. In an interview with People, the musician talked candidly about her illness, admitting that she was given the all-clear in 2008 after receiving a diagnosis. I tried to put my foot on the brake as I was driving, but my leg kept bouncing. Elliott stated, "I couldn't keep the brake down and nearly crashed (via The Hollywood Reporter). "I couldn't even use a pen because my nervous system was that awful," she said. Elliott continued by saying that it was now crucial for her to adjust her diet and up her physical activity if she wanted to keep her health.
During a 2012 appearance on SiriusXM's "Sway In the Morning," Elliott went into further detail about her struggle with Graves' disease and shared how she previously believed the illness would take her life. Elliott admitted, "I was terrified. Anyone with Graves' illness feels as though they are about to leave the building. The MC continued by saying that her condition has subsequently improved and is now tolerable.
In 2011, Missy Elliott returned to the public eye as the featured MC on Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" remix. A few years later, the two came together to deliver a dynamic halftime show at the Super Bowl XLIX. Although the partnership was a clear hit with the audience, few people were aware that Elliott had been admitted to the hospital the night before the big game. Elliott tweeted in 2017 that "no one knew I was in the hospital the night before I had to perform at the Super Bowl." "I was SO SHOCKED when I first heard Get Ya Freak On playing. I shouted, 'Lord I can't turn back now.'"
Elliott has continued to talk openly about her ongoing health issues ever since she revealed her diagnosis. The rapper gave a stirring statement about tenacity while receiving the Visionary Award at Essence's 9th annual Black Women in Music event in 2018. Elliott stated, "I felt unwell and I couldn't even raise a pin." "My nervous system was completely damaged. I did not exit this building in a wheelchair. I wasn't helped up here by anyone. I walked here, but it was only by God's mercy.