Twenty years ago, on this day, “Babygirl, better known as Aaliyah,” lost her life in a fatal plane crash over the Bahamas. The then larger-than-life star had traveled to the small Caribbean island to film video footage for “Rock The Boat” off her third studio album Aaliyah. She was 22-years-old, and evolving from the enigmatic tomboy music lovers had come to know her for—into a comely, yet sultry, woman on screen and as well as on wax. Aaliyah played Trish O’Day opposite the late, great DMX in Romeo Must Die and Queen Akasha in the 2002 movie Queen of The Damned, which was posthumously released.
Fans witnessed her gracefully move on from rumors that linked her to a reportedly inappropriate relationship and marriage to R. Kelly, and watched her emerge seemingly confident and unbroken by gossip—while maintaining her privacy and mystique. Aaliyah was on a fast track to superstardom. If she wasn’t one already, her demise pushed her into icon status, as millions mourned her untimely death and coveted her music and aesthetic in the years since.
—And though the “Back and Forth” singer is highly revered, is she resting in peace is a question.
In recent years, Aaliyah’s name is circulating a digital universe that she predates. Her music catalogue is just now streaming online after a 20-year absence from the internet; an unauthorized biopic was produced on Lifetime network; Her mother called out author Kathy Iandoli, who penned an unauthorized biography that was recently published on Aug. 17, and shut down public gravesite visits at Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum where she is buried; disturbing news that she was fetishized by her producer Timbaland recently surfaced; and alas, Babygirl’s name is caught up in Chicago and New York City courtrooms and on the tongues of prosecutors and attorneys—as Robert Sylvester Kelly’s fate and justice for his sexual assault accusers hang in the balance.
Nonetheless, that fateful flight called it: The 25th of August would never be the same in hip hop, R&B or Black culture, nor would it be for those who adored her. Twenty years ago, as I sat in my car—stunned—listening to Hot 97, processing what had happened, those songs just hit differently. They still do.
Rock The Boat
At Your Best
If Your Girl Only Knew
Back In One Piece
One In A Million
Are You That Somebody
4 Page Letter
The One I Gave My Heart To
Can I Talk To You
The Best And Worst Fabrics For Your Health This Winter
She Tried It: Inahsi Naturals Aloe Hibiscus Leave-In Conditioner & Detangler
Coca-Cola Mealtime Magic: Jerk Salmon Burger by Chef Scherise Merritt
We're Outside! Level Up Outdoor Adventures With Global Nomad Kellee Edwards
My Husband And I Attempted To Have A Creative Date Night At Home -Without A Babysitter - Here's How It Went
She Tried It: Ivy Park Drip 2 and 2.2 Black Pack
Beauty Of 5: Meet Wakati, The Newest Line Catered Specifically To Women With 4C Hair
Seven Cool Things to Do on a Warm Weekend in Chicago