Missy Elliott fights Graves disease
Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott has revealed the reason for her musical hiatus - her struggle with Graves' disease.
In 2008 the Grammy-winning hip-hop star was diagnosed with the autoimmune illness, which began affecting her motor skills and thyroid, before she suffered from symptoms like dizzy spells, lumps in the throat, mood swings, hair loss and bulging eyes.
"I couldn't write because my nervous system was so bad - I couldn't even use a pen," she admitted to People.
Missy, who returned to the spotlight with a performance at Wireless festival last year, first realised she had a problem while driving, when she lost control of her muscles.
"I was trying to put my foot on the brake, but my leg was jumping. I couldn't keep the brake down and almost crashed," she recalled.
The 39-year-old's condition has improved, after she underwent radiation therapy combined with medication.
"I'm 30 pounds lighter because I've been exercising. My thyroid is functioning, so I haven't had to take medication in about nine months. You live with it for the rest of your life."
Missy, who features on VH1's Behind The Music, airing on US screens on June 29, is making an eagerly anticipated return to music, after reuniting with previous collaborator Timbaland on Take Ur Clothes Off, and promises her long-promised seventh album, now dubbed Block Party, is on its way.