‘A True Angel’: Remembering Aaliyah’s Impact 20 Years After Her Passing

By: BNC Digital Staff

From songs “Rock the Boat” and “One in a Million” to a role in Romeo Must Die, Aaliyah was a star in the music and film industries.  

Born in Brooklyn, she spent a lot of time between Detroit and New York, according to her website. Aaliyah was a competitor on “Star Search” as a child, but her loss did not deter her from success. At 11, she landed a performing gig with Gladys Knight in Las Vegas.  

In 1994 when she was just 14, her first album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number, was released. The album’s first single, “Back and Forth”, was a Billboard Hot 100 and a No. 1 R&B hit.  

Her legacy began, with Teen Vogue saying she set the prototype for young female artists of the ’90s. From there, her career only took off. In 1996, her album, One In A Million, was released.  

After music, her star power led to success in the film industry with a debut role in Romeo Must Die. Starring alongside Jet Li, the film was a hit and the record “Try Again” on the soundtrack sold millions of copies. 

On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah and eight other people were killed in a plane crash. Twenty years later, her impact on the industry is being remembered in various ways. Her “One in a Million” album is now available on streaming platforms after decades of only being on CDs and cassettes.  

“Aaliyah continues to have an impact on the world after her passing that fateful day in 2001. She was a person of virtue, honor, hard work, and love,” her family said. “She was a unique individual who gave all of herself in whatever she did… A true angel in every sense of the word, she lives now in our minds, our hearts and in the way we all live our lives; in her name we strive to be the best and make our world a better place.” 

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here. 

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