Melissa "Missy" Elliott was born in Portsmouth, Virginia and spent much of her childhood in a mobile home community in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Even at a young age, she was obsessed with music. It was her only outlet to escape an abusive home life at the hands of her father, Ronnie Elliott, who was a US Marine. She described a particularly terrifying incident to the Observer Music Monthly in 2001: "Once, he pulled a gun on us and forced us both outside naked. He was crazy like that. I lived in constant fear. I had friends but I never stayed at anyone's house because I was scared that I would come home and find my mother dead. I remember seeing my mother crouched in the corner with her arm out of its socket. There isn't a day goes by that I don't think about it all."
By the time she was a teen, she was desperate to escape her abusive father and wrote letters to her idols Michael and Janet Jackson for help. She is still heartbroken that they never responded. She said: "I would check my mailbox every day, come rain, sleet or snow. They never wrote back. I cried every night about that. Now, I'm friends with Janet. I write songs for her. Sometimes, though, we'll be in a club together and I'll find myself thinking, 'But you never wrote me back when I needed you.'" Missy and her mother left her father when the singer was 14.
Missy Elliott remembers all too well the stress of growing up in an abusive household, but it wasn't just her father's explosive temper that plagued the singer. In a VH1 Behind the Music special, Missy revealed she was also sexually abused for a year by her 16-year-old cousin. She remembered, "Each day he wanted me to come to the house after school. It became sexual, which, for me at eight years old, I had no clue what that was, but I knew something was wrong." "Being molested ... it don't disappear. You remember it as if it was yesterday," she added.
See your Spotify stats (with number of plays and minutes listened) and discover new music.
Music data, artist images, album covers, and song previews are provided by Spotify. Spotify is a trademark of Spotify AB.