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Aaliyah–How Did She Die Again? And The Artists She’d Influenced

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FILE – This May 9, 2001 file photo shows singer Aaliyah in New York. Aaliyah, 22, was killed in August 2001 at when a small plane she was flying in crashed shortly after takeoff in the Bahamas. Singer Zendaya will play Aaliyah in a film about the late singer’s life. (AP Photo/Jim Cooper, File)

Aaliyah would have been 37 years old this year had she survived the plane crash that ended her life more than 15 years ago. The R&B singer and actress was killed in that fatal plane crash along with seven other people. Tweeners today may not know Aaliyah, but they may be listening to their favorite R&B artists who had been influenced by the late singer. Let?s take a look on what happened on that tragic day and who among the top artists today are following Aaliyah?s musical style.

Tragedy in the Bahamas

Aliyah was travelling with her crew when their private plane, a Cessna 402B, exploded and crashed just 200 feet beyond the end of a runway at Marsh Harbour International Airport on Abaco Island in the Bahamas after takeoff, according to New York Daily.

“We find it devastating and most unfortunate that after having this world-famous star Aaliyah and her crew select the Bahamas as their choice location for her latest video, the project has climaxed on such a tragic note,” said Minister of Tourism Tommy Turnquest. The 22-year-old Grammy-nominated singer and her film crew were returning to the United States after shooting on Great Abaco when their plane crashed around 6:50 p.m.

Before the horrifying incident, Aaliyah made a mark in the music world as well as in Hollywood. She bagged roles in films like Queen of the Damned and Romeo Must Die, alongside Jet Li. The “Try Again” singer ?released her self-titled third album, featuring the Timbaland-produced “We Need A Resolution”, “More Than A Woman”, and “I Care 4 U” only a month before the plane crashed.

Singer R. Kelly was her mentor and there were rumors that they were married. Though they both denied the rumors, in her biography, it is mentioned that the magazine Vibe published a copy of their marriage certificate in January 1995. Aaliyah listed her age as 18 whereas her actual age was 15 at the time of the wedding and R. Kelly accurately listed his age as 25. The website also states Aaliyah?s achievements. She was a true triple threat ? a singer, dancer and actress ? who would have definitely been a superstar by now. Her three albums have sold over 32 million copies worldwide. She accomplished more than a majority of the people could in one century.

Aaliyah?s R&B footprints

Many famous artists are following Aaliyah?s style today. Some of them admitted that the singer had an influence on their music. When asked about Aaliyah, J.Cole said, “I feel like every boy my age at that time – middle school age – was in love with Aaliyah,” according to Capital Xtra.

The website added that renowned singer Rihanna picked out ?Are You That Somebody? as one of her favourite music videos and said that she admired the way Aaliyah injected personality into her videos. American singer Alicia Keys disclosed that one of her biggest hits ?If I Ain’t Got You? was inspired by Aaliyah. “The song idea came together right after Aaliyah passed away. It was such a sad time and no one wanted to believe it. It just made everything crystal clear to me -what matters, and what doesn’t,” she said. The Canadian singer and songwriter Drake admits that he was highly influenced by Aaliyah?s singing. He said that the songstress had the ?biggest? influence on him and had “most impact” on the music that he created. He was inspired to become a singer only because of her.

Aaliyah was born Aaliyah Dani Haughton on Jan. 16, 1979 in Brooklyn, but grew up in Detroit, according to a biography on sonicnet.com. Her name means “highest, most exalted one.?

If she was still amongst us now, she would have already celebrated her 37th birthday last week. Looking at her number of achievements at such a young age, she would have definitely reached great heights and been a superstar by now.

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