Aaliyah: We still wonder what may have been 20 years after her death.
What’s left now is her music, a rumored family feud over her legacy, and a rehash of her relationship with R. Kelly, who is facing federal accusations of racketeering and breaking the Mann Act, anti-sex trafficking legislation, during his trial.
(All allegations against Kelly have been dismissed.)
According to prosecution testimony, the couple married when she was 15 and she used a fake ID.
When Aaliyah’s family discovered the marriage, it was canceled the next year, according to the Chicago-Sun Times.
But for those who admire Aaliyah, Wednesday is a day to honor the woman known as “Baby Girl” by her friends, family, and fans.
Her untimely death, which occurred just hours after she finished recording the music video for her single “Rock the Boat,” in which she floats in the waves like an ethereal angel, devastated admirers.
For some, the pain is still present.
“She had her own thing going at the time of her loss, and she was getting larger and bigger,” Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins of TLC recently told CNN about her fellow musician.
“She had some swag, a fan base, and she had an impact on people. As a result, she is missed.”
With her baggy jeans and style of attire, Aaliyah, like TLC, blazed a trail in fashion.
Aaliyah was in complete control of her image and aesthetic, according to producer Craig A. King, who
worked on her very successful sophomore album “One in a Million.”
Her sustained attraction, he says, stems from her talent and “interest in her potential.”
He said, “What she could have been.”
“The fact that she added so much flare, flair, and flavor to hip hop and R&B, as well as her ability to
smoothly transition between two realms.
“Given how many musicians have attempted to imitate Aaliyah, often without giving her full credit, King
isn’t surprised that a new generation of fans is taken to her music and wants to learn more about her.
“She was really relatable,” he continued, “and I believe that’s what this next generation is identifying with.”
“That kind of fierce girl/sweet girl combination.”
According to writer Iandoli, the singer is deserving of praise because of her influence in the industry and
her ability to effortlessly integrate musical styles.
“You have something like trap soul now, or trap R&B or even rappers who just sing over hip hop and
electronic beats,” Iandoli said.
“It all began with Aaliyah.”
Iandoli noted how outspoken rapper Drake has been about Aaliyah’s inspiration (he has also sampled her
music and in 2010 penned a letter to her in honor of the anniversary of her death) as evidence of how she remains influential.
That is part of what inspired her to write her book, she said.
“I felt like the world needed a book that detailed her beginnings and how for 20 years thereafter, she’s