Nineteen years ago today, R&B singer and actress Aaliyah died in a plane crash at the age of 22. The star had just shot a video for her single “Rock the Boat” in the Bahamas and sadly passed away on her way back to Miami.
The icon, who is referred to as the Princess of R&B, made a huge impression on the music scene and continues to impact today’s biggest names. According to Atlanta Black Star, the “More Than a Woman” hitmaker has gone on to influence many modern-day artists, including Drake, Rihanna, Ciara, Jhene Aiko, and Alicia Keys, to name a few.
On Twitter, her legacy is being celebrated underneath the hashtag “Aaliyah19Years” by her loyal fans.
“I can’t believe its been 19 years without you on this earth, I hope you know that your impact in the music world is very strong and we’re still fighting for your legacy. #Aaliyah19Years,” one user wrote.
“When Aaliyah left us 19 years ago on this day, she left behind a legacy and impact that is unparalleled to this day. She was a visionary, an inspiration and a beautiful soul. Today we honour her and her precious art. Thank you for the 22 years you gave us #Aaliyah19Years,” another person shared.
“Nothing compares to you #QueenOfRnB #Aaliyah forever! #Aaliyah19years,” remarked a third admirer.
According to the Mirror, Aaliyah was accompanied by seven members of her crew — video director Douglas Kratz, 28, record label executive Gina Smith, 30, bodyguard Scott Gallin, 41, hairstylists Anthony Dodd, 34, and Eric Forman, 29, makeup artist Christopher Maldonado, 32, and her friend Keith Wallace, 49 — who all perished in the accident.
In total, it was confirmed that nine people died and that Aaliyah had passed away from severe burns, a blow to the head, and shock.
Aaliyah’s career may have been short-lived. However, to this day, her artistry and visuals are still highly referenced.
Cardi B, who currently has a No. 1 hit with “WAP,” admitted in an interview on 99 Jamz’s morning show with Trick & Trina that the scene with the snakes in the music video was inspired by the late entertainer.
Aaliyah’s career kick-started in the ’90s after her debut album, Ain’t Nothing But a Number, dropped. The R. Kelly produced LP to this day remains her only studio album available on Apple Music and Spotify, per Newsweek. Her two follow-up albums, One In a Million and Aaliyah, contain some of her biggest and most-loved hits but are only available in some territories through compilations.