R&B singer Aaliyah’s fans celebrated her legacy this year following the 21st anniversary of her passing. The promising young pop star was already an influential force in the music industry, with many eager to see what she was gearing up to do next. Forging a signature sound with Timbaland and Missy after being mentored by R.Kelly, Aaliyah was set to be as big as the Beyonce’s and Rihanna’s that followed her. Close friend and collaborator Ginuwine recently revealed that despite their deep history, Aaliyah was not speaking to him, Timbaland, or Missy Elliot at the time of her passing.
The same speech you gave Aaliyah can be said for you DMX.— Spooky Boochie 👻 (@stawpfeenin) April 9, 2021
RIP legend. pic.twitter.com/MN3SyyfsvW
Aaliyah’s passing was hard for so many people. Fans took it incredibly hard and have worked hard to preserve her legacy in the years since. Those close to her really struggled with the loss, and we saw all her friends show up for the video of her final single, “I Miss You,” a star-studded tribute to the singer affectionately called “baby girl” by friends and family.
DMX, who starred opposite her in Romeo Must Die, admitted to being deeply smitten by the singer and took her passing incredibly hard. He did a dedication to her at the beginning of the “I Miss You” video, where he discussed not wanting to accept her passing. “Dearest, sweet Aaliyah. I have trouble accepting the fact that you’re gone. So I won’t,” he said in the opening frame. When he passed last year at the age of 50, fans looked back on the somber moment and said, “The same speech you gave Aaliyah can be said for you, DMX. RIP legend.”
Fellow R&B singer Mary J Blige admits that Aaliyah’s passing made her take a good hard look at her life and drinking and reconsider her choices. “My life was her life. She was surrounded by people who weren’t telling her the real deal. We weren’t close friends, but I’d talked with her a couple of times. I very well could’ve been the woman on that plane,” she said in an interview with ABC News. Mary confesses that she was so scared for her life that she believed she was next and was also going to perish in some freak accident so she got help.
Ginuwine, Missy and Timbaland were super close to Aaliyah. Ginuwine was the lead man in her breakthrough video “One in a Million,” and the four were always associated with each other. They were all synonymous with the sound that broke her out from under R. Kelly’s shadow and redefined pop music. So fans were crushed when Ginuwine revealed in a 2020 interview that at the time of her passing, Aaliyah was not talking to them. While they had done some work on her final album, the project featured a substantial amount of other influences and producers, including Static Major, whom she was rumored to have dated.
Ginuwine alludes to people getting in Aaliyah’s head before she passing and driving a wedge between them. This tormented him for years, knowing that she passed having an issue with him. Eventually, Missy Elliot called him and confessed to having a dream that Aaliyah forgave them. This helped him finally move on from the guilt.