20 years ago today the world lost an icon. Aaliyah’s timeless voice, songs and style continue to influence artists across generations.
On August 25, 2001, R&B singer Aaliyah died in a fiery plane crash while leaving the Bahamas. The 22-year-old was there with her team shooting the video for her hit single “Rock The Boat”. An investigation determined that the aircraft had attempted to take off while heavily overloaded. It was also revealed that the pilot did not have the required qualifications to fly the aircraft type involved and had falsified relevant documents to obtain his pilot license. She was scheduled to leave the Bahamas on August 26, 2001, but chose to leave the day before since she had finished early.
The Detroit-born singer was at the top of her career when her life was cut short. Her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number sold over three million copies and was certified double platinum. The R. Kelly produced project peaked at number 18 on the Billboard 200. For her sophomore album, One In a Million, the singer teamed up with superproducers Timbaland and Missy Elliot. The album featured hits like the cult classic, “One In a Million,” “If Your Girl Only Knew,” and “4 Page Letter”. Chart Data recently reported that “Aaliyah’s One In A Million aiming for first-ever appearance in the top 10 on the US albums chart this week, 25 years after release.”
Over the past two decades, she has continued to influence R&B and hip-hop culture, whether its artists sampling her music or their attempt to recreate what has come to be known as an Aaliyah aesthetic–Tomboy vibes mixed with classy sex appeal.
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The R&B beauty was also well known for her impeccable dance moves choreographed by the legendary Fatima Robinson. Artists such as Ciara, Sevyn Streeter, and Ryan Destiny have all adopted Aaliyah-influenced dance moves that are both intricate and groovy.
Aaliyah is the blueprint and will always and forever have an impact on the culture. Fans can celebrate her life by listening to her discography which has recently been made available across streaming platforms.
What’s your favorite Aaliyah song?