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Eighteen years ago today (August 25, 2001), the late Aaliyah died in a tragic plane crash that left her hairstylist, security guard, make-up artist, and others who were a part of the “More Than A Woman” singer’s crew dead.

The fatal plane crash that left family, fans, peers, and friends of the popular R&B singer and actress (Romeo Must Die, Queen of the Damned) devasted took place following the filming of Aaliyah’s music video for her single “Rock the Boat.”

Although Aaliyah died at the age of 22 and had a short music career due to her early passing, the singer’s music helped to redefine R&B, pop, and even hip-hop. And her legacy continues to live on. Below are 7 ways that prove such.

1)Missy Elliott and Timbaland Continue To Talk About Aaliyah And Her Work

Ever since Aaliyah passed in 2001, her close friends and collaborators, Missy Elliott and Timbaland have always kept the singer’s memory alive by mentioning their love for her, Aaliyah’s hard work ethic, creativity, and her sweet demeanor. There are countless interviews where Elliott and Timb together and separately honor Aaliyah.

2) Aaliyah’s Style Influenced Artists Who Came After Her

Aaliyah at the at the 2000 Teen Choice Awards at the Barker hangar in Santa Monica, CA on Sunday, August 6, 2000

There is no denying that when Ciara emerged on the music scene in 2004  her look and choreography wasn’t in some way inspired by Aaliyah. Ciara not only carried the sort of innocent essence that Aaliyah carried but she also presented herself fashion-wise with a certain edge that only urban and hip-hop culture possesses, that Aaliyah also rocked effortlessly. Aaliyah was able to present herself and her fashion sense with a sort of delicateness and grit, at the same time, which paved the way for artists like Ciara, Teyana Taylor, Rihanna, and Kehlani.

Teyana Taylor

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 01: Teyana Taylor attends the Alexander Wang Fall 2019 show at One Hanson Place on December 1, 2018 in New York City.

3) Aaliyah’s M-A-C Aaliyah Collection 

In 2017, Mac Cosmetics announced its M-A-C Aaliyah collection, which launched in 2018. The collection came to fruition from fans of the singer starting a petition, similar to the same petition that Selena fans started, which also garnered the other late singer a collection with the popular cosmetics company. “Aaliyah is truly one in a million — an unstoppable icon whose groundbreaking work in R&B music and film inspires us all. Today we join her countless fans in celebrating her with the announcement of the M·A·C Aaliyah collection. You made it happen! Stay tuned in 2018,” the company wrote in its Instagram announcement of the collection.

4) Aaliyah’s Madame Tussauds Wax Figure 

On Aug. 21, Madame Tussauds Las Vegas unveiled the late singer’s new wax figure. Aaliyah’s wax treatment pays tribute to her 2000 “Try Again” music video featuring the singer’s leather pants and metallic bra. Aaliyah’s brother, Rashad Haughton was present for the unveiling ceremony and he also was a part of the process designing her wax figure. Now the singer’s image and likeness and can be viewed indefinitely in Las Vegas at Madame Tussauds.


5)Fan Groups Post About Aaliyah On Social Media Daily

The internet is the gift that keeps on giving and so is social media. There are countless Aaliyah fan accounts on Instagram and Twitter, as well as accounts geared towards the popular era of the ’90s who consistently post about the “4 Page Letter” singer.

Some of the most popular Aaliyah fan accounts are:


377894 77: Aaliyah wins the MTV Award for Best video from a film September 7, 2000 at the MTV Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

6)Artists Continue to Interpolate and Sample Aaliyah’s Music & Celebrate Her In Other Ways

Aaliyah has been lauded by her former peers as well as by artists who came after her. Drake, who emerged as a rapper in 2006 (he was acting prior to his music career) even has a huge tattoo of the singer on his back. The Toronto native has often mentioned Aaliyah as one of his biggest influences and he also has interpolated the singer on songs like 2018’s “Is There More” from his Scorpion album.

Timbaland’s protege, Tink, sampled Aaliyah on her 2015 single “Million,” which is heavily inspired by Aaliyah’s single “One In A Million,” and also written by Missy Elliott and Timbaland, who were close friends and collaborators with the singer.

7) Artists Continue To Name Drop Aaliyah In Their Music

In addition to Aaliyah being sampled and interpolated by other artists, she also has had a myriad of artists directly reference her in their music such as Kanye West, Lil Wayne, The Game, J. Cole, Princess Nokia, Lil Mama, and Jadakiss, among others.”Smoke got our eyes looking like we from Korea/We floating but I’mma rock the boat like Aaliyah/RIP, shorty got me/Shorty knows I f**k her with her hard body,” Lil Wayne rapped on “Marvin’s Room” from his Sorry 4 The Wait mixtape.

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.

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