Entertainment Music Aaliyah's Life in Photos The rising star died in a plane crash at the age of 22 on Aug. 25, 2001 By Diane J. Cho Diane J. Cho Diane J. Cho was the Features Editor of PEOPLE Digital from 2019 to 2022. She worked at the brand for nearly four years covering news, features, human interest, evergreen, holiday gift guides and more. She launched the How I Parent and What It's Really Like to Be …. digital series and has interviewed several celebrities and influential leaders within the entertainment industry. Prior to joining PEOPLE, Diane worked at Bustle, VH1 and Complex. She received her bachelor's degree in Journalism from Rutgers University and her master's degree from Columbia Journalism School. People Editorial Guidelines Updated on August 25, 2022 10:55 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 17 Aaliyah's Early Years Catherine McGann/Getty Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born on Jan. 16, 1979 in Brooklyn, New York. The star's talent was undeniable from a young age. At 11, she landed an opportunity to perform with Gladys Knight for five nights in Las Vegas and by 14, she released her debut album Age Ain't Nothing But a Number, which earned her best new artist nominations at the American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards and Soul Train Awards. Aaliyah went on to have a successful career as a Grammy-nominated artist, leading actress and style authority until her life was cut short in a plane crash. On Aug. 25, 2001 at just 22 years old, Aaliyah died when a small, twin-engine Cessna bound for Miami crashed into a swamp shortly after takeoff in the Bahamas. She had gone to the destination to shoot a music video. Superintendent Basil Rahming of the Grand Bahama police department said that six people, including Aaliyah, were killed on impact, while two others died soon after. Aaliyah's influence has since permeated music and fashion for decades, and just days ahead of the 20th anniversary of her death, fans can finally listen to her 1996 album One in a Million on Spotify. Here she is, posing backstage at Madison Square Garden for Lifebeat's Urban Aid benefit concert on Oct. 5, 1995, in N.Y.C. 02 of 17 Aaliyah in Concert in 1997 Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage The singer and trendsetter wore Tommy Hilfiger during her 1997 Aaliyah at The Forum show in Inglewood, California. 03 of 17 Aaliyah in Concert in 1997 Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage Aaliyah was always ahead of her time when it came to music and fashion. Her style influences still live on today, from strappy cut-out tops to bold, baggy leather pants. Here's another look from her 1997 show at The Forum. 04 of 17 Aaliyah in N.Y.C. in 1997 KMazur/WireImage The star took the stage during TNT Presents A Gift of Song in N.Y.C. on Jan. 1, 1997. 05 of 17 Aaliyah on The Tonight Show in 1997 Margaret Norton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty She served as musical guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Feb. 18, 1997. 06 of 17 Aaliyah at the Race to Erase MS in 1997 Patrick McMullan via Getty China Chow, Gwen Stefani, Kidada Jones, Aaliyah and Rashida Jones rocked head-to-toe Tommy for the 5th annual Race to Erase MS at the Century Plaza Hotel on Nov. 14, 1997, in L.A. 07 of 17 Aaliyah at the Soul Train Music Awards in 1998 Chris Walter/WireImage Aaliyah and close friend and collaborator Missy Elliott arriving at the 12th annual Soul Train Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in L.A. in 1998. 08 of 17 Aaliyah at the Urbanworld Film Festival KMazur/WireImage At the 4th annual Urbanworld Film Festival and preview of Kimora Lee Simmons' new lingerie line Baby Phat, Aaliyah wore a lace-up top, white jeans and a patchwork purse. 09 of 17 Aaliyah with 'NSYNC KMazur/WireImage Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass and Joey Fatone of 'NSYNC snapped a photo with the star at the 9th annual MTV Movie Awards. 10 of 17 Aaliyah at the Romeo Must Die Premiere Vince Bucci/AFP via Getty Co-stars Jet Li and Aaliyah arriving for the premiere of their film Romeo Must Die on March 20, 2000, in L.A. 11 of 17 Aaliyah with Jay Leno Paul Drinkwater/Network/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Years later she sat down for an interview with Leno on April 26, 2000. 12 of 17 Aaliyah at Diddy's 4th of July Party Patrick McMullan via Getty Natane Adcock, Damon Dash, Aaliyah, JAY-Z, P. Diddy and Jennifer Lopez posed at Diddy's 4th of July party on July 2, 2000, in East Hampton, New York. 13 of 17 Aaliyah at the 2000 VMAs Steve Azzara/Corbis via Getty The star with her 2000 MTV Video Music Award for best female video for her hit "Try Again." 14 of 17 Aaliyah at the 2001 Essence Awards Evan Agostini/ImageDirect Stunning in a layered, caramel-colored gown, Aaliyah arrived at the 2001 Essence Awards at Madison Square Garden in N.Y.C. 15 of 17 Aaliyah and Damon Dash Frank Micelotta/Getty Aaliyah and Damon Dash, who met in 2000 and dated until the star died, at Roseland Ballroom following the world premiere of the 20th Century Fox film Planet of the Apes at the Ziegfeld Theater in N.Y.C. in 2001. 16 of 17 Aaliyah at an MTV Event Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Artists Busta Rhymes, Aaliyah, Pink, Stevie Wonder, Mya and Tyrese posed at the MTV Icon Tribute to Janet Jackson in 2001. 17 of 17 Aaliyah at an MTV Event Evan Agostini/ImageDirect Aaliyah wore a leather top and a Roc-A-Fella chain to MTV's 20th anniversary party at Hammerstein Ballroom in N.Y.C. on Aug. 1, 2001.