Aaliyah Remembered, Ten Years Later

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Ten years ago today, the life of pioneering R&B singer (and budding movie star) Aaliyah was cut tragically short when the Cessna 402B carrying her and eight others, including the pilot, crashed 200 feet beyond the runway in the Bahamas. Her talent is such that she is not an artist we look back on in our memories, but one whose music and influence have remained very much a part of our lives in the decade following her untimely passing. Even so, such a milestone calls for a more focused remembrance. Here at VH1 HQ, we’ve already revisited The Fader‘s reposted 2008 cover story tribute (and are rocking its attendant mixes) and for our money the best of today’s tributes comes courtesy Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, remembering Aaliyah at Life + Times:

We’d already been through the years of Janet [Jackson] and of SWV, who brought elements of hip-hop culture to R&B, but Aaliyah was the first to fuse R&B cool fully to hip-hop swagger, just in time for rap to take over the world. She transformed Tommy baggies and boxers into a look so feminine it was almost preternatural, and when she sang about desire, it was so knowing you knew she was one-upping her subject.

For more, watch the highlight reel of interview segments that MTV News compiled from her 2001 episode of Diary, and check out who in Aaliyah’s circle of celebrity friends is taking to Twitter today to mourn her loss. We also welcome your thoughts and memories about her in the comments.

Rest in peace, Aaliyah. You are still very much missed.

[Image: Getty Images]

  1. Jackie L says:

    My daughter was/is a big fan of Aaliyah’s…so much so that when my granddaughter was born last November she named her Aaliyah…I have seen others use the name but not spelled the same….I think it is a beautiful name for a beautiful singer and my beautiful granddaughter :)

  2. shanese mitchell says:

    She was truly a music icon.

  3. Robbie Wise says:

    I still remember the horse and carriage that walked thru the boroughs of NYC and her music is a staple on my ipod( i had a walkman filled with her music). I’m bedridden with a muscle disease and her music takes me somewhere else where I can see her smile again. 2 weeks later 9/11 struck but my memory of Aaliyah will never fade.

  4. catina l says:

    AAliyah will be truely missed,gone but never forgotten. We all r fans an i named my daughter after her an didnt no how to say her middle name. I Luv u AAliyah. Blessing to her family as well.

  5. TAYLER says:

    AALIYAH WAS AN AMAZING ARTIST SHE HAD SO MUCH TALENT I STILL LISTEN TO ALL OF HER MUSIC……. AND ALSO SHE COULD SING AND DANCE AS WELL……. BUT RIP AALIYAH YOU WILL BE MISSED TRULY

  6. VH1, PLEASE SHOW AALIYAH’S BEHIND THE MUSIC, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE YOU GUYS DO SUCH AN EXCELLENT JOB AS A TRIBUTE TO HER on BEHIND THE MUSIC!!!!!!! PLEASE, PLAY IT FOR THOSE WHO DON’T REMEMBER, BECAUSE JUST WHAT SOMEONE SAID IN ONE OF THE COMMENTS ON THE BLOG IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. I REMEMBER VH1 SHOWING THE FOOTAGE FROM THE WHOLE VIDEO SHOOT FOR THE 2-3 DAYS THAT THEY WERE THERE, NOT KNOWING WHAT WAS TO COME, HOW TRAGIC! AND FOR THOSE OF US WHO REMEMBER THERE WERE ABOUT 4 OTHER PEOPLE OF HER FRIENDS, AND OTHERS WHO ALSO WERE APART OF THIS PROJECT WHO ALSO LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE CRASH! 1 MINUTE EVERYBODY’S LAUGHING AND JOKING AROUND ON THE VIDEO SET, HER FRIENDS, CHOREOGRAPHER-FATIMA, DANCERS, AND EVERYONE INCLUDED, AND THE NEXT, IT WAS ALL TEARS. I REMEMBER HER BROTHER SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THE FAMILY, AND HE WAS SO BROKEN UP ABOUT IT, HE WAS CRYING, “I JUST COULDN’T GET MY PSYCHE AROUND IT.” (COMMENTS FROM HER BROTHER, ON BEHIND THE MUSIC) No one could get their psyche around it! No one can duplicate such a precious person) I can remember them showing a clip of her casket AT THE FUNERAL in glass, on a horse carriage, and her mother and family letting doves fly as they stood on the steps of the church, that hurt so bad, we all hurt, because she about to blow up. It hurts so bad, to know what she would have become
    Aaliyah, the world misses you, what a classy young lady!!

  7. I’m 50 years old and ALLIYAH was one of my favorite artists. MISS YA!!!!

  8. James says:

    I love Aaliyah so much, her music , her style she’s still the best ever!!! I miss her no one should live to see their child pass away like that I feel sorry for her parents and definetly her family. I feel this connection with Aaliyah for some stupid reason , like before I even acknowledged her music I felt this I don’t know “CONNECTION” so Yeah um just wanna give some love for Aaliyah the best that ever did It. Love you Aaliyah -James w.

  9. delredd says:

    yes, i really do indeed feel the pain of aaliyah parents. i loss my 1 and only child 6 yrs ago i still loves/misses him so badly 24/7. he pass away due 2 an illness, i loved aaliyah like if she was a relative 2 me. i still listens 2 her music/videos except 4 rock the boat, it always brings bitter tears 2 my eyes. i really wish that she had her on plane/private jet maybe she and the others members woulda been still alive. still love and miss baby girl u was so pretty. R.I.P.