Missy Elliott won the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award Monday night at the 2019 MTV VMAs. But if you doubt Missy’s impact on today’s stars, just ask Ari Lennox. Dreamville’s first lady tells ABC Radio that her current visual for “BMO” wouldn’t even exist without the iconic rapper.

When Lennox dropped the clip for “BMO, she tweeted that its look and feel were inspired by videos from ’90s girl group Total and Elliott  — specifically, Total’s “Trippin‘” and Missy’s “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly).” But Lennox never expected Missy to notice her shout-out — or to respond with high praise of her own.

“You know I rock out to ya music! You be snapping!” Missy replied to Ari’s tweet. “Keep doing ya thang no matter what! You shining!”

Ari replied, “Thank you legend so much,” adding crying and heart emojis.

Recalling the moment for ABC Radio, Lennox was near tears.

“Missy…she’s everything. She’s the reason, like, for ‘BMO,’” she gushed. “‘BMO’ wouldn’t exist if…Missy never existed…like my harmonies, the way I harmonize, that’s Missy. You know what I’m saying?”

“And all the things she’s done for so many people,” Ari added. “Between, like, Ciara, one of my favorites; Aaliyah, one of my favorites; Tweet, one of my favorites, it’s like, she’s the reason…so it just feels crazy.”

But it’s not just Missy — Ari says she can’t handle the idea that any of the artists she admires are also fans of hers.

“I can’t believe it…it’s just a lot,” she says. “I’ve always wanted love, and I always got it from my parents, but, like, to love these artists so much…and see that they care and they respect what I’m doing, it’s just, like…it’s so crazy!”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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