Seventeen years after a plane crash claimed the life of 22-year-old R&B star Aaliyah, fans and fellow artists are taking to social media to honor the “One in a Million” singer.
Missy Elliott posted an emotional video to Twitter, in which she can be seen penning a heartfelt note to the late artist.
“Aaliyah, we miss you so much,” she begins, with a frown face added for extra emphasis, “but your legacy will live on forever and ever.”
Elliott then pans the camera over to a pile of clothes festooned with Aaliyah’s name and face.
“Aaliyah (Babygirl) I can only imagine how great you would be today winning oscars😉& creating sick music & still setting fashion trends!” Elliott, 47, captioned the brief clip. “Your mom & brother @RAD_6 & your fans been holding it down 4 u❤️you will always be A One in A Million🙌🏾 sleep peacefully angel Babygirl🙏🏾”
Aaliyah died on Aug. 25, 2001 after the twin-engine Cessna 402B carrying the singer and her eight-person entourage crashed just after takeoff from Marsh Harbour Airport in the Bahamas. All on board were killed. It was later determined that the vehicle was overloaded by approximately 700 pounds and carried one extra passenger.
The star — who would have turned 39 on Jan. 16 — had been in the Caribbean to complete filming 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.
Following a private funeral service that included R&B and hip-hop luminaries like Elliott, Timbaland, Gladys Knight, Lil’ Kim and Sean Combs, Aaliyah was laid to rest at the Rosewood Mausoleum in Hartsdale, New York.