One of the most powerful and innovative forces in hip hop since the mid-’90s, Missy Elliott has been noticeably absent from popular music in the years since her last album, The Cookbook, came out in 2005. Although its follow up, Block Party, was originally supposed to see release in 2007, it still isn’t finished. Now, sadly, we have a good idea why. Elliott has just revealed that she was diagnosed with Graves disease in 2008. Symptoms of the thyroid illness include a decrease in muscle control, hair and weight loss, and mood swings. The Boombox reports that Elliott told People she “couldn’t write because my nervous system was so bad — I couldn’t even use a pen.” Eventually, she underwent radiation treatment to help manage the incurable (but generally non-fatal) disease.
There is some good news here, though: Elliott has been feeling well enough that she went off medication nine months ago, and she’s working on music again. She’ll talk more about her illness on her episode of VH1′s Behind the Music, which airs June 29th. In the mean time, we’ve got a lot of love for Missy and wish her all the best in her continued recovery. [via Billboard]