Missy Elliott Leads Tributes to Aaliyah on 18th Anniversary of Her Death: 'Never Be Forgotten'
The singer was killed in a plane crash on Aug. 25, 2001
The “Back & Forth” singer, who was just 22 when her plane went down in the Bahamas, was remembered by fellow artists Missy Elliott, Kehlani and more for her contributions to the music world on Sunday.
“Aaliyah it’s been 18 years now but your STYLE & MUSIC still continues to IMPACT all the generations behind you!” tweeted Elliott, 48, who was a close friend and collaborator of Aaliyah. “May you rest In paradise in PEACE You will NEVER be forgotten so MANY LOVE you Babygirl WE ALL MISS YOU!”
“I always forget how young Aaliyah was. rip to a REAL legend,” Kehlani, 24, wrote.
Musician Ella Mai tweeted on Sunday, writing, “rest in paradise aaliyah. thank you for all of your inspiration. we miss you 🌹.”
Singer and songwriter Victoria Monét also paid tribute, calling Aaliyah her favorite artist and remembering the day she died.
“18 yrs ago I lost my favorite artist. I had a weird feeling that morning before I knew & I remember where I was when I found out. Worst day,” Monét wrote. “I will forever hold her & her music with me as an influence in all of my goals, my voice, my movement, energy & souI. I love you Aaliyah.”
Aaliyah, a five-time Grammy nominee, was killed in a plane crash along with seven others on her way home from shooting the music video for “Rock the Boat.”
The plane, a small twin-engine Cessna bound for Miami, went down in a swamp shortly after taking off from the Bahamas on Aug. 25, 2001.
Despite her young age, the star had achieved immense popularity following the release of her first album, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, when she was 15.
Her second album, One in a Million, was certified double platinum in 1997, and her final record, Aaliyah, sold over 2.4 million copies worldwide and scored a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album in 2002.
Days before the 18th anniversary of her death, Aaliyah was memorialized with a wax figure at Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas with a figure from her iconic “Try Again” music video from 2000.
To mark what would have been her 40th birthday in January, her brother Rashad Haughton released a special poem dedicated to his late sister.
“The many were once as one/ By way of mind and tongue/ Hands intertwined/ Reached out for heaven/ Atop a thing that was built/ When it fell upon itself/The words descended/Upon cold earth and became brittle, colorless and crumbled beneath our feet,” he wrote. “Now, a cypher of memories/ Unlock a chamber; Not of brick and mortar/But of glass and copper — Smooth and colt to touch/ Hallow voices ripple upstream/Yearning to rejoin the sea cry/ Universe, sacred womb/A truth revealed/Is a song set free/Gentle whisper of wind/Sow these seeds for me.”
Elliott also paid tribute on the 17th anniversary of Aaliyah’s death last year.
“Aaliyah (Babygirl) I can only imagine how great you would be today winning Oscars & creating sick music & still setting fashion trends!” she wrote on Twitter. “Your mom & brother & your fans been holding it down 4 u.”