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Portsmouth City Council to vote on partial street name change to 'Missy Elliott Blvd'

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Posted at 12:35 PM, Aug 09, 2022

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Portsmouth City Council is set to vote this week to rename a portion 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 a portion of McLean Street to the name "Missy Elliott Blvd."

Melissa Arnette Elliot was born on July 1, 1971, at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center. Missy Elliott grew up in the Hodges Ferry community and went on to graduate from Woodrow Wilson High School (now Manor High School) in 1990.

Since graduation, Missy Elliot has become a Grammy award-winning rapper, singer, songwriter and producer. Some of her family members reside in the Churchland area and other parts of Hampton Roads.

The family previously tried to honor Elliott with a petition in 2017 to replace the Confederate monument on Court Street with a statue of Missy Elliott. It was unsuccessful, 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 has performed locally, including at Something in the Water Festival. Missy Elliott has yet to perform publicly in Portsmouth.

McLean Street serves the Victory Crossing Shopping Center, Tidewater Community College, and the future Portsmouth Rivers Casino. According to the ordinance, none of these future or current developments will require an address name change with the proposed street renaming.

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The applicant believes that renaming the street will enhance the City's recently rezoned Entertainment District and serve as a testament to the city's greatness that her career began here.

The city council will vote on Tuesday, August 9.