How Much Money Is Missy Elliott Really Worth?

Missy Elliott is a living legend, whether considering her hugely impressive music career, her work as a producer for other, often up-and-coming artists, or the fact she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame — the first female rapper to ever receive the honor — just last year (via The New York Times).

Elliott is known for her wild costumes and incredible music videos, but the business mogul has proven adept at surviving the celebrity machine, and the harsh music industry over the past 20 years and change (since her debut, Supa Dupa Fly, changed rap forever). The stunning transformation of Missy Elliott further showcases how the rap superstar has changed it up over the years, to a delightfully weird and wonderful extent. 

There's simply nobody else like her, and it's doubtful a second Missy Elliott will ever be gifted upon the world. The one-of-a-kind rapper has amassed an impressive fortune, and it's more than earned when you consider her achievements. 

Missy Elliott knows what sells

In 2015, Billboard revealed Elliott was the bestselling female rap album artist in history, with more than 7.6 million records sold in the U.S. alone. Aside from making her own music, the rap superstar has worked with some of the coolest and biggest icons in the game. Harper's Bazaar names Aaliyah, Destiny's Child, and Mariah Carey but Elliott has also produced for Beyoncé and her longtime BFF Janet Jackson. 

In 2004, she performed as part of Verizon Ladies First Tour alongside Beyoncé, Tamia, and Alicia Keys. More recently, she's worked with talented upstarts Lizzo and Ariana Grande. She also opened for Mariah Carey on her 2000 Rainbow World Tour and even supported Michael Jackson the following year, on his 30th Anniversary Celebration. Elliott supported hip hop heavyweights Jay-Z and 50 Cent on their Rock the Mic tour in 2003, further solidifying her standing in the male-dominated rap world. 

It's worth noting, too, that Elliott founded her own record label, Gold Mind Inc, so she's completely in control of everything she does. As SPIN gushed in a profile, "her marketing savvy borders on ingenious." She's also made TV and movie appearances over the years, in titles such as Pootie Tang, Star, and American Dad (via IMDb). Her iconic music videos, meanwhile, deserve their own designation entirely, with the likes of "Work It" breaking barriers for what was considered acceptable for female rappers. 

There's nobody else like Missy Elliott

Although humble to a fault, Missy Elliott always knew she was destined for greatness, even while growing up in small-town Virginia as plain ol' Melissa Arnette Elliott. Discussing her impressive legacy with Marie Claire, she admitted, "Everything I spoke, I've done. And that's how powerful the tongue is....I used to sit in the house and act like I was having conversations with Janet and Michael and Madonna and whoever. I then would go and say my thank yous for award shows that I hadn't made it to yet. I had speeches, and I would be in the mirror thanking my mama."

She received her doctorate in music in May 2019, just a month before being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. When questioned about how she wants to be thought of long term as an artist, the rapper said simply, "There's no one like Missy. No one." Of her most recent EP Iconology, released in summer 2019, Rolling Stone again reiterated that there's nobody else like Elliott. 

Missy Elliott is in control of her career

Missy Elliott may not hit the stage as often these days, but her 2015 Super Bowl halftime show, opposite Katy Perry, gave her a 2,500 percent sales bump, according to Forbes. Theirs became the most-watched halftime show in history, according to Billboard, introducing Elliott to a whole new generation of fans and solidifying her timeless quality as an artist. 

The rap superstar revealed in an interview with The Guardian that she actually received some serious push-back when first trying to break into the industry, due to her looks. "They said I could sing, I could write, but that I looked wrong. That was the lowest thing you could say," she admitted.

Gold Mind Inc came about when Elliott refused to sign a deal with Elektra, instead waiting until she was offered her own label with 100 percent creative control over her image, and everything else besides. She became the first Black female music mogul as a result.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, all that business savvy has netted Elliott a not-too-shabby $50 million to date. That should shut her detractors up.