Missy Elliott is to receive the top prize at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs).

Over the past three decades, the hip-hop superstar has cemented herself as a cultural icon, having won five Grammy Awards and made hit songs such as Work It, Get Ur Freak On, and Gossip Folks.

Now, executives at MTV have announced that Elliott is to receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award - the VMAs' highest honour - at the upcoming awards night.

"I am Humbly Grateful to be receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award," she posted on Twitter. "I am crying happy tears. Thank you God @MTV @vmas am SO HUMBLED (sic)."

Elliott will also perform live during the ceremony, marking the first time she has returned to the VMAs stage since 2003.

And Bruce Gillmer, head of music and music talent, Viacom and co-brand head, MTV International, commented that the 48-year-old would be the first female rapper to be bestowed with the prestigious honour.

"Missy's impact on the music landscape is indelible," he said in a statement. "Her creative vision across production, performance and songwriting is unmatched."

The first Vanguard awards were presented in 1984 at the inaugural VMAs but were renamed in 1991 in honour of Michael Jackson.

Past Vanguard recipients include Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Guns N' Roses, Britney Spears, Kanye West, Rihanna, and Pink.

The 2019 MTV VMAs will be hosted by comedian Sebastian Maniscalco and are to take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on 26 August.

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