Melissa Arnette "Missy" Elliott (born July 1, 1971) is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer and actress. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Elliott, with record sales of over 30 million in the United States, is the only female rapper to have six albums certified platinum by the RIAA, including one double platinum for her 2002 album Under Construction. Elliott is known for a series of hits and diverse music videos, including "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)", "Hot Boyz", "Get Ur Freak On", "One Minute Man", "4 My People", "Work It", "Pass That Dutch", and "Lose Control". In addition, she has worked extensively as a songwriter and producer for other artists, both alone and with her fellow producer and childhood friend Timbaland, with whom she received her first production credit on R&B singer Ginuwine's 1996's album Ginuwine...the Bachelor.
Elliott was born on July 1, 1971, in Portsmouth, Virginia. She is the only child of mother Patricia, a power-company coordinator, and father Ronnie, a U.S. Marine. At the age of four in 1975, she wanted to be a performer, though she knew no one took her seriously, as she was always the class clown. While her father was a Marine, the family lived in Jacksonville, North Carolina, in a mobile home. Elliott enjoyed school for the friendships she formed and had little interest in school work, though an IQ test classified her above average and she was able to jump two years ahead of her class. This made her feel increasingly isolated, so she purposely failed all her classes, eventually returning to her age-appropriate class. When her father returned from the Marines, they moved back to Virginia, where they lived in a vermin-infested shack.