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Missy Elliott with key to city (Photo by Randy Singleton)

Black Arts and Culture

Portsmouth Loves Missy Elliott!

By Randy Singleton
Community Affairs Correspondent
New Journal and Guide

High School Principal Gives Missy Elliott A Manor High Letter Jacket (Photo by Randy Singleton)

The city of Portsmouth held a street renaming ceremony for Portsmouth native and Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Missy Elliott, who graduated in 1990 from Manor High. McLean Street has been renamed Missy Elliot Boulevard and will run from Airline Boulevard to Greenwood Drive near Tidewater Community College and the future Portsmouth Rivers Casino, which is currently under construction. McLean Street is named for George Tutton McLean, who developed the Cavalier Manor neighborhood in the 1950s.

Three thousand six hundred people attended the ceremony which was held at the football stadium on the campus of Manor High. Many local and state elected officials, fans, faith leaders, supporters, and family members of the hip-hop star were on hand to witness Elliott receive the key to the city of Portsmouth from Mayor Shannon Glover.

Missy Elliott also received a special award from the Portsmouth School Board, and the principal of Manor High, Dr. Timothy E. Johnson, presented her with a letter-man jacket with her name emblazoned on the back. Congressman Bobby Scott read a proclamation that will be placed in the U.S. Congressional record and presented Elliott with a replica. Gov. Glenn Youngkin read a proclamation which he signed honoring Missy Elliott on this date in the state of Virginia. Missy Elliott thanked the audience and her mom, Ms. Pat Elliott. She also thanked her Manor High teachers, and the entire Portsmouth community for supporting her over the years.

The parade at the stadium featured the marching bands of Hampton University, Norfolk State, Elizabeth City State, and Manor High. A rainstorm occurred at the end of the ceremony, causing the large crowd to disperse and head to the exits.

In 2019, Missy Elliott gave Manor High $25,000. In 2021, Elliott gave another $30,000 to assist the school with the name change from Wilson High to Manor High. Missy Elliott is the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last year.

All Photos By Randy Singleton

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