Today marks the 15th anniversary of the great Aaliyah making her transition. That was a particularly problematic couple of weeks, with this happening not too long before the tragic attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
I remember August 25, 2001 like it was yesterday….I was preparing for my last year in grade school that would take place on August 26. I woke up that morning to MTV (because that was usually what I left my television on the night before. I was a teenager, after all), and the MTVNews special announced that Aaliyah, along with six members of her crew, perished in a horrific plane crash. I. Was. DONE FOR.
Like, we lost Left Eye of the group TLC four months prior and now we had to say goodbye to Aaliyah, of all people?! My little 17 year-old brain could not compute. I loved and envied her style, her hair, her voice. She was my idol. It wasn’t until much later that I learned that she was to expand her personal brand, moving into designing clothes and being casted in larger, better roles. She was to be in The Matrix sequels; she won the lead role of Honey in Honey; she and best friend Kidada Jones were in the beginnings of creating a clothes label geared towards teenagers.
15 years later, my brain still tries to cope with the loss. She would’ve been such a great performer and global force to reckon with. Yes, we have the wonderful Beyonce and the very talented Rihanna (who, for the record, I am a HUGE fan of). But Aaliyah would still be the greatest. I’m convinced. And for that, Baby Girl, I hope you continue to Sleep in Peace.
Rashad Rawkus created this awesome mix of some of Aaliyah’s greatest hits (which I was personally hurt when I realized this morning that major streaming services does NOT have most or any of Aaliyah’s albums). Please swoop your hair over your face, break out your best Tommy Hilfiger ‘fit, and enjoy this great mix!