Entertainment Music Aaliyah Remembered by Family and Fans on What Would Have Been the Late Singer's 40th Birthday The singer would have been 40 years old today By Robyn Merrett Published on January 16, 2019 10:50 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Family and fans of Aaliyah are remembering the “Are You That Somebody” singer on what would have been her 40th birthday. “Happy birthday sweet angel!!!” read a tribute from Aaliyah’s official Twitter account on Wednesday. “Happily Heavenly Birthday, @AaliyahHaughton! All these years have gone by & my love for you hasn’t changed. Your presence is greatly missed in today’s era of music, but your legacy continues to live on. We love you forever!” a fan wrote. “One of the most beautiful and talented women to ever walk this earth. Still listen to her music and still sad she’s no longer here,” another fan tweeted. “Happy 40th birthday to the Queen of my heart. I never personally knew you, but I felt like I did. I never personally met you, but still I considered you to be my sister. Not only did your music touch my soul, your beautiful spirit did too,” a different user expressed. Aaliyah. Tim Mosenfelder/ImageDirect/Getty In honor of the special day, Aaliyah’s brother Rashad Haughton released a 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.” “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.” Aaliyah died at the age of 22 on Aug. 25, 2001. The New York-born songstress — along with seven others — died when a small, twin-engine Cessna bound for Miami crashed into a swamp shortly after takeoff in the Bahamas. Aaliyah had gone to the destination to shoot her music video for “Rock the Boat,” a track off of her self-titled third album, her final LP released during her lifetime. The clip was nominated for best R&B video at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. Aaliyah’s first album, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, was released when she was 15, and by the age of 18 she had two hit records to her credit. She released her second album One in a Million in 1996. It was certified double platinum on June 16, 1997. Getty Missy Elliott Pays Tribute to Aaliyah with Emotional Video on the 17th Anniversary of Her Death Her final album Aaliyah sold over 2.4 million copies worldwide and scored a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album in 2002. Aaliyah recently returned to the headlines following the release of the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly — which shed light on R. Kelly‘s alleged relationship with the singer after working on her first album. In 1994, it was widely reported that R. Kelly and Aaliyah had secretly gotten married and news outlets made public a marriage certificate that listed Aaliyah’s age as 18, though she would have been 15 at the time. Kevin Mazur/WireImage Aaliyah’s Ex Damon Dash Says She Wouldn’t Talk About R. Kelly: ‘It Was So Much Hurt for Her’ R. Kelly and Aaliyah never addressed the reports about the nature of their relationship, but in the documentary, his former personal assistant Demetrius Smith claims he was present at the wedding and admits to obtaining false documents for underaged Aaliyah. Also in Surviving R. Kelly, a friend of Aaliyah’s, Jovante Cunningham, claimed she saw Aaliyah, then 15, and R. Kelly, then 27, engaging in a sexual relationship on his tour bus after the door to his room flew open. Aaliyah’s mother Diane Haughton released a statement on social media to the official Aaliyah Twitter account, denying the allegation that any such thing could have happened. “My husband and I were always on tour with [Aaliyah] and at interviews and every place she went throughout her entire career,” the statement reads. “Whoever this woman is [who is making the allegations], I have never seen her before anywhere on planet earth, until now.” Representatives for the 52-year-old star, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, responded, “no comment” to PEOPLE’s request for a response to the allegations made in Surviving R. Kelly and PEOPLE’s interviews.