US rap singer Missy Elliot. Picture: AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ

Missy Elliott forgets she's famous and is only reminded she's a rap superstar when her fans come up to speak to her.

The 'Get Ur Freak On' hitmaker is one of the biggest hip hop stars of all-time and is responsible for countless hits both on her own and on collaborations with artists such as Janet Jackson, Faith Evans and Little Mix.

But Elliott doesn't live an A-list lifestyle and is happy to go out shopping for her own groceries and enjoys trips to the mall by herself without an entourage.

It is only when people ask her for selfies and autographs that the rapper remembers why somebody would be excited to meet her.

In an interview on BBC Radio 6 Music, she said: "It's funny because I go to the grocery store by myself, and the mall by myself, and people will be like, 'What are you doing here by yourself! They remind me! I forgot who I was."

Elliott – real name Melissa Elliott – can understand fandom because she can recall being a youngster who was obsessed with the late Michael Jackson.

The 45-year-old songwriter insists the King of Pop's pioneering videos – which include his horror-themed promo for 'Thriller' and 'Billie Jean' with its unforgettable dance routine – still inspire her own work now.

She shared: "I was that kid that ran home to watch Michael Jackson videos. I had to see what Michael was going to do. Visual is big for me ... I like for people to see the visual, the art of it. I just do what I do ... My grandmother always told me to be fearless and I guess that's it."

In January, Elliott dropped a surprise single when she released 'I'm Better', featuring Lamb, accompanied by a music video which she co-directed with frequent collaborator Dave Meyers.

Elliott hasn't released a full album since 2005's 'The Cookbook'.

Bang Showbiz