Missy Elliott surprised her 'funky white sister' while she performed 'Work It' on Ellen
Last month, Mary Halsey performed an incredible cover of Missy Elliott's Work It at a park in Rhode Island. She introduced herself as Missy's "funky white sister" and nailed every word, including the backwards hook. She even did the elephant trumpet sound effect; now that's dedication! And just like Missy, Mary had a killer sense of style, rocking a floral top and holding a shofar. You know, the ancient instrument made from a ram's horn? Just go with it.
The karaoke took place at a barbecue, which explains why a woman walked by in the background, eating a cup of Oodles of Noodles. But she didn't stop dancing. Why stop eating to dance? Why stop dancing to eat? You can multitask. The hilarious video went viral, getting over 13 million views. Best of all, Missy Elliott herself saw it, and gave Mary props. "I just found out I have a FUNKY WHITE SISTER," the rapper tweeted. " she straight killed “Work It” sound effects & all?? I love it???"
Like all internet sensations, Mary appeared on Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show. She revealed that she's been performing the song for 15 years, ever since she covered it for a contest in 2003. When asked about her online success, Mary said, "It was a shock. I never expected this. I put it out there and said ‘I want to go viral’ but I never thought it would happen."
After explaining her dopeness, Mary treated the crowd to her signature performance of Work It. But halfway through the rendition, she got the surprise of a lifetime: Missy Elliott joined her 'funky white sister' on stage to sing the chorus. Together, they rapped the second verse, and shared a big hug. Mary was obviously thrilled. Take her with you on tour, Missy!
Afterward, the two sat down for a chat with Ellen, and Mary was obviously excited to meet Missy. "I had no idea, you’ve blown me away. I can hardly just sit here," said Mary. Then she led the crowd in a spontaneous cheer: "Missy Elliott! Ellen DeGeneres! Mary Halsey!"
A lot of people cover Missy's music, but Mary's performance really stood out. "When she first said, ‘Missy’s funky white sister,’ I was like, ‘Who is this?’" Missy reflected. "So when I listened, I’m like, ‘She knows all the words, but the sound effects!’ She makes the elephant noise, all of that." Anybody can cover Work It, but real MC's don't just rap the lyrics - they do the elephant noise.
At the end, Ellen gave Mary an amazing present: a jacket with floral sleeves, and "MISSY'S FUNKY WHITE SISTER" printed on the back. Now every time she performs Work It at a park in Rhode Island, she can wear that jacket, and remember the time she rocked the crowd with Missy on Ellen. Congratulations, Mary. You worked it, and it was worth it.