Congratulations to music legend Missy Elliott, who received an honorary doctorate degree in music from Berklee College of Music on Saturday, May 11th. During the ceremony, Elliott, who is the first hip-hop artist to receive an honorary degree from the college, burst into tears after receiving her degree. She received a standing ovation from the faculty and students. During her speech, she spoke about the difficulties she faced during her career, including her Graves disease diagnosis in 2011.

“There will be ups and downs, prepare for that, but don’t give up,” Elliott told students during her talk. “If I had given up long time ago, I wouldn’t be standing here today… You have come too far to quit.”

She also posted on social media, “CREATE YOUR OWN LANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sincerely Dr. MISSY ELLIOTT🙌🏾🙌🏾👩🏾‍🎓 @BerkleeCollege Thank you for this Honorary Doctorate Degree I am SO HUMBLED🤗”

Pop singer Justin Timberlake was also honored with a doctorate.