Street named after Missy Elliott on the table in Portsmouth


Portsmouth City Council is expected to vote Tuesday to permanently change an existing street name to “Missy Elliott Boulevard”.

The roadway would honor Portsmouth native Melissa Arnette Elliott, award winning rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer best known by the stage name “Missy Elliott”.

Back in 2017, there was an effort in Portsmouth to replace the former Confederate monument on Court Street with a statue of the artist. The monument was dismantled in 2020; nothing has replaced it.

Documents show the street name request was made by Portsmouth resident Erin Carter.

Elliott graduated from the Portsmouth Public Schools system in the 90s when Woodrow Wilson High School was still known as Manor High School, according to school spokeswoman Lauren Nolasco.

Elliott toured the high school back in 2019 and donated $25,000 to the campus. She told Woodrow Wilson High School’s administration to use it for whatever they may need — so long as the funds serve that particular school, Nolasco said.

Now, just a few years later, a nearby road could honor the singer. The proposed name change would impact what is now McLean Street, from Airline Boulevard to Greenwood Drive. McLean Street runs near the Victory Crossing Shopping Center, Tidewater Community College, and the future Portsmouth Rivers Casino.

Documents show no residential home addresses would be changed and no existing businesses would be impacted. The property is public right-of-way owned by the City of Portsmouth.

The city says its Planning Commission is recommending approval and the council is anticipated to vote on Tuesday.

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