Remembering Aaliyah

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(January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001)

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Singer, dancer, model and actress Aaliyah had several No.1 R&B hits from the age of 15 (Age Ain't Nothing But a Number;1994), and also starred in two films before her tragic death in a plane crash at the age of 22.

Aaliyah worked with record producers Timbaland and Missy Elliott for her second album, One in a Million. In addition to singing, Aaliyah was also a talented actress, starring in the vampire film, Queen of the Damned (2002) and co-starring with Jet Li in Romeo Must Die (2000). She contributed to the film's soundtrack, with the single "Try Again", which earned Aaliyah a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocalist. Her third album, 2001’s Aaliyah, was a gold-selling hit within four weeks of release, and Aaliyah looked set for a long and successful career of both singing and acting. However, after filming a video in the Bahamas to promote the single “Rock the Boat”, she and her entourage were killed in a plane crash.

In 2002, I Care 4 U, a compilation of hits and unreleased tracks, went straight to the top of the R&B charts and posthumously won Aaliyah a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist. She has been credited for helping redefine R&B and hip hop, and is listed by Billboard as the tenth most successful female R&B artist of the past 25 years, and 27th most successful R&B artist overall.

I remember the day I found out that she passed away, my mom and I were watching MTV, when they came on the air with the breaking news segment. I know I was very young, and in elementary school at the time. I didn't know her, obviously, but I cried. And a month later for my birthday, one of my close friends got me her last self-titled album, Aaliyah. She was so talented and beautiful, and from all the documentaries I've seen, she seemed like a very genuine person. I can only imagine the wonderful things she'd be achieving right now if she were still here with us. Her album never fails to make my shuffle playlist wherever I go, and she had such a pretty voice, no one will ever touch her, or sound like her.

The anniversary of her untimely passing is this Thursday (August 25). BET will be showing a tribute special in her name at 8pm. If your an Aaliyah fan, be sure to tune in. I know I will be.

"I Miss You"

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