Debby Wong / London Ent / Splash / Splash News 1 / 10
Debby Wong / London Ent / Splash / Splash News 1 / 10

In the early part of the aughts, Missy Elliott released a string of bonkers, Timbaland-produced smashes that branded her a visionary, progressive force for hip-hop.

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Then, radio silence. Now, a possible explanation as to why she hasn't been heard from since 2005's "The Cookbook:" Elliott tells People she's been dealing with an autoimmune disorder called Graves' disease since 2008.

Things are looking up, though! She says, "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." (She'll apparently address the situation further in her upcoming "Behind the Music" episode.)

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Does the recent positive health news, and Missy's willingness to discuss her condition, possibly point to a full-fledged comeback?

More proof: While she's been talking up her next album, "Block Party," for years, a recent reunion with Timbaland would at least suggest it's closer to fruition.

In conclusion: Let's hope Missy's health continues to improve, and that new music is imminent. [TheBoombox]

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