5 Artists Carrying On Baby Girl’s Legacy
Like every August 25 for the past two decades, the music world mourned one of its greatest losses in memory of the quadruple threat, Aaliyah Dana Haughton.
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On this date in 2001, the still 22-year-old singer, dancer, model and actress was returning from the Bahamas after filming a music video for her new single, “Rock The Boat.” Last-minute filming was in response to the song’s unexpected success on radio at the time, with a video for another single, “More Than A Woman”, already shot and scheduled as a follow-up to her debut single, “We we need a resolution.” The new plan was to serve the two singles as back-to-back releases, a move many artists are successful in today.
A plane crash later that afternoon at 6:50 p.m. abruptly ended all those plans, and Baby Girl tragically lost her life seeking to become a pioneer of the clever marketing tool again.
The world will never know how great she would have become had those plans come to fruition, in addition to her in-demand dual acting career in The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix: Revolutions and a Whitney Houston-produced remake of sparkled released later in 2012 with Jordin Sparks in the lead. Aaliyah was even said to be working on a period piece she was developing herself titled A kind of blue, a romance set during the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival with the “One In A Million” singer playing a romantic role.
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It is these many unfulfilled plans, in addition to countless others, that make Aaliyah’s loss still hard to fathom more than 20 years after her untimely passing. However, a handful of her contemporaries and successors have for years ensured that her legacy continues, as she once sang so well, again and again.
From dear friends like Missy Elliott who were around when she was alive, to current pop sensations like Normani who came decades after her heavenly transition, we prop five musicians making sure to never forget the LIYAH:
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1. MISSY ELLIOTT
No musician in the industry, with the possible exception of Timbaland, has honored Baby Girl’s legacy like Missy Elliott. As lead writer on some of Aaliyah’s most important and iconic songs, including “If Your Girl Only Knew”, “I Care 4 U” and the perennial classic “One In A Million”, he will without saying that Missy will always ride for her “Best Friend” collaborator.
The “One In A Million” sample on her 2021 single “Wild Side” proved beyond doubt that Normani was born from the house that Aaliyah built. However, his metallic dance number at the MTV VMAs that year was a page borrowed directly from the 1997 music video for “4 Page Letter.” We see you!
Although the Euphoria star has put music on hold, her aspirations to balance a dual career in music and Hollywood are ones her self-confessed idol had effortlessly mastered before that fateful plane crash. We see a lot of similarities between the two, not to mention the fact that Z almost played Aaliyah in that poorly received Lifetime biopic from 2014 – definitely dodged a bullet there!
4. THE WEEKEND
The Weeknd, an extension of Aaliyah superfan Drake, has both a musical vibe and a falsetto that are totally in tune with Baby Girl’s signature sound. No wonder Blackground Records 2.0 united them late last year for the posthumously released “Poison”, a purported single from their forthcoming album of unreleased demos.
From eclectic music and an undeniable influence on fashion, to ethereal beauty and that tomboy chic flair, the similarities between Rihanna and Aaliyah are undeniable. Rih has always named the R&B princess as one of her biggest influences across the board, and her billion-dollar empire is just an idea of what Aaliyah would have achieved too had she lived. .