Missy Elliott Reflects on Battle With Graves Disease: ‘I’m Blessed to Be Here’

The Grammy-winning rapper was diagnosed with Graves disease in 2008.

Missy Elliott smiles, wearing a studded cap, hoop earrings, and a gold necklace
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
Missy Elliott smiles, wearing a studded cap, hoop earrings, and a gold necklace

Missy Elliott feels "blessed" to be here, and we are certainly blessed to have her.

The four-time Grammy winner, 52, is set to hit the road for her debut headlining tour next month, titled "Out of This World - The Missy Elliott Experience Tour." The tour will feature Missy performing alongside friends and collaborators Ciara, 38, and Busta Rhymes, 52.

In recent years, Elliot has been largely out of the spotlight, in part due to her battle with Graves disease and severe anxiety. According to Mount Sinai, Graves disease is an autoimmune disease that leads to an overactive thyroid gland. Symptoms include anxiety, fatigue, hair and weight loss, and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

The rapper was diagnosed with Graves disease back in 2008, after an incident where she nearly wrecked her car while experiencing tremors, another symptom of the disease.

"Every day I wake, I'm blessed to be here and in good health," Elliott told People after a rehearsal for the tour. "I’m feeling so much better now. That was a run. Every now and then you get a little ache in the leg or the knee, but outside of that, I feel good."

Elliott, who became the first female rapper to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, spoke to Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts about her health struggles before receiving the honor, saying the disease "broke down" her nervous system.

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"I remember Monica coming to the house one day and I couldn't even hold a pencil," Elliott told GMA last November. "She wrote the lyrics out for me. I felt helpless, like it started messing with you mentally."

She continued, "You have all of those different side effects that you have to deal with. Life is never gonna be full of roses. Those tests become your testimony."

Out of This World – The Missy Elliott Experience, with special guests Busta Rhymes, Ciara, and Timbaland, kicks off on July 4 in Vancouver, British Columbia at the Rogers Arena. The tour will visit arenas in major cities, including Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, and Brooklyn before wrapping up in Rosemont, Illinois on Aug. 22 at the Allstate Arena. 

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