PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Portsmouth City Council is expected to vote this week to rename part of a street “Missy Elliott Boulevard.”
A friend of the Elliott family, Erin Carter, wants to honor and recognize the Portsmouth native music superstar, by changing part of McLean Street to name it “Missy Elliott Blvd”.
Melissa Arnette Elliot was born on July 1, 1971 at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center. Missy Elliott grew up in the community of Hodges Ferry and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School (now Manor High School) in 1990.
Since graduating, Missy Elliot has become a Grammy-winning rapper, singer, songwriter and producer. Some of his family members reside in the Churchland area and other parts of Hampton Roads.
The family had previously attempted to honor Elliott with a petition in 2017 to replace the Confederate monument on Court Street with a statue of Missy Elliott. It was a failure, but the Confederate monument was moved.
Since then, Missy Elliott has donated $25,000 to Woodrow Wilson High School, now named Manor High School. The artist also hosted the reality show “The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott” in 2005 with episodes filmed in Norfolk and performed locally including at Something in the Water Festival. Missy Elliott has yet to play publicly for Portsmouth.
McLean Street serves the Victory Crossing Shopping Centre, Tidewater Community College and the future Portsmouth Rivers Casino. According to the order, none of these future or current developments will require an address name change with the proposed street name change.
The petitioner believes that renaming the street will enhance the city’s recently rezoned entertainment district and serve as a testament to the greatness of the city that her career began here.
City Council will vote on Tuesday, August 9.