Aaliyah: You will be missed

By the

August 30, 2001

The death of any public figure resonates throughout the nation via radio, print and television. However, while the media can inform the public as to the tragic loss of someone’s life, the press itself can not elicit the emotions that follow the loss of someone special. The sorrow following R&B singer Aaliyah’s tragic death this weekend comes from the inspiration she provided to so many. Coming back from a video shoot in the Bahamas, the 22-year-old was killed in a plane crash, along with eight others.

Although she was born Jan. 16 1979 in Brooklyn, Aaliyah Haughton grew up in Detroit, Mich. She entered the music scene in 1994 with her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number. With the album, she garnered immediate recognition via two Top 10 hits, “Back & Forth” and “At Your Best (You are Love).” Still a student at the Detroit High School of Performing Arts, Aaliyah was successful in more than just music. She considered her studies very important and held a 4.0 GPA at graduation.

Yet her talent extended even further. In 2000, she co-starred with Jet Li in the movie Romeo Must Die. She also played the title role in the film adaptation of Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned and will be seen in Matrix 2 in 2002.

The grief surrounding the singer’s passing is not only based on respect for her talents and for the inspiration she provided. Aaliyah had gained a substantial fan base and seemed to have a very promising future. This past July, Aaliyah came out with her third self-titled album, which provided her with even more public love. After previously collaborating with artists such as R. Kelly, Missy Elliot and Nas, she decided to ask Timbaland to produce three songs on the album, resulting in the hit “We Need A Resolution.”

She accomplished so much by such a young age; it is sad to see such a glowing talent extinguished so abruptly. Her presence, inspiration and beautiful voice will be greatly missed.

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