In Memory Of Aaliyah Dana Haughton

Today is the anniversary day that our precious gem of an R&B songbird Aaliyah "Babygirl" Haughton passed on to a better place. She spent January 16, 1979 to August 25, 2001 blessing the world with her presence and although the 22 years that she was here seems short, I am just thankful to have been able to watch her live as long as I did.

On August 25th, of that dreaded year 2001 I remember receiving a call from a friend (that is also no longer with us), being asked, "you cried didn't you?" And I remember shamelessly saying yes. Aaliyah was the first person that I had never met or even known personally that I felt a connection with. She felt like a sister to me, an icon, if not just a pretty girl with enormous talent that was living her dream and giving me the chance to see it. The only poster that I had in my sibling shared room and the only poster that went to college with me was of Aaliyah.

Aaliyah's song, "One in a Million" was one of the first songs that my dance group Basic Instinct danced to, over and over again. I vividly remember the moments when "One in a Million" and "4 Page Letter" were played at my high school prom, more than I remember any other thing from that day.

The Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Ginuwine, Blackground Records situation seemed like such a good touch to Aaliyah's image. I always wondered was it their closeness (the family like love) that gave Aaliyah the push at times to go ahead and reach for more. If you listen to her music, watch her videos, her movies or anything else that she has graced, it is classic, but was also cutting edge.

Aaliyah still lives in my heart and in my soul when I sing her music, perform her dance steps and watch her music videos or films. "Rock the Boat" is one of my favorite depictions of her spirit and her kindness that other people often talked about. The visuals (Hype Williams) of that music video are very angelic and Fatima her choreographer did something new with the steps too.

Aaliyah represented the young lady made for stardom, but still kept her innocence. I am sure that she did not live the "perfect" life but her image was never tarnished. She never gave away too much in a video or interview. She was always classy, on point and seemed to be herself and that is what makes Aaliyah a beautiful person inside and out.

I love you forever Aaliyah!


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