I’ve been thinking about Aaliyah a lot these days.

First I saw that hot, hot new Ciara video for Like a Boy, and I love that song and have ’nuff admiration for Ciara, but when I see her dancing I inevitably wind up thinking about Baby Girl. And wondering what she’d be doing now.

Hey, her and Ciara could well have made a killer duet by now (with Timbaland and Missy all up in the video, like the good old days).

Then I watched My Block Virginia — big shout out to one of my fave blogs, Cake and Ice Cream, for the upload.

The clip with Timbaland was so fascinating to me on so many levels (I have mad respect for Timbo), and hearing him share feelings about Aaliyah really, really touched me. Even when he was just casually talking about it, the pain was real. I knew where he was coming from. Obviously I never knew Aaliyah, so I can only imagine the heartbreak that her family and friends felt. Feel.

Aaliyah’s death hit me harder than Kurt Cobain’s did, and I was a huge grunge music head at that time. But all conspiracy theories aside, Kurt Cobain meant to kill himself. He was heading in that direction. He wanted to die. And Aaliyah, she had so much further to go. So much promise and hope.

I didn’t even believe it when my friend called me up, or when they were playing all of her songs on the radio that day. But when I saw those dates, 1979-2001, I cried and cried. We were the same age, and I hadn’t realized that before because she accomplished so much in such a short time. Just 22 years old. It’s just like Tupac — when you realize he was just 25 when he died, it makes his death seem all the more senseless and tragic. And Biggie was just 24. They were so, so young. They all had so much more to do, so many more places to go.

This was quite the morbid conversation to have, but my husband and I were just listening to The Beatles (we’re both huge fans) and talking about John Lennon. How great he was. How important to music history. I can only imagine how John Lennon’s death must have affected the world. At 40 he had lived a ridiculously full and prolific life. I just wish he was still around today, to lead protests and anti-war rallies, and to be the outspoken political figure he was. Who would Lennon be collaborating with now? (Eddie Vedder and Neil Young come immediately to mind, but who knows, he could have been getting down with Nas, rocking with a reunited Rage Against the Machine, or off on some experimental Bjork tip).

So what would Aaliyah be doing now? A little of everything, I think. She said it herself in this interview on the Rosie show, she took her acting very seriously. She was supposed to be in The Matrix, and her film career was about to take off. According to Wikipedia, she was supposed to star in Honey, was considered for a role in Charlie’s Angels, and was going to star in a Whitney Houston produced remake of Sparkle. (Wow.)

You know she’d have a hot clothing line too — all of these R&B chicks have one now, but I am sure that hers would have been much cooler than any House of Dereon nonsense. FYI, true fans — in her honor, her family has created an official Aaliyah clothing line, featuring teeshirts and handbags. Proceeds benefit the Aaliyah Memorial Fund.

I can’t even think of a favorite Aaliyah song. I love the slow jams, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, I Care 4 U, I Don’t Wanna and At Your Best (stupid YouTube only has the remix, sorry).

Her uptempo jams are among some of my favorite songs ever. When I remember Aaliyah, I don’t want to be sad. It’s easy to cry when thinking about her, and in every interview I’ve seen about her, her family and friends all say she would want people to smile when they remember her. So I try to think of Are You That Somebody, and More Than a Woman, and Try Again, songs that take me back to my teenage years when life seemed simpler.

So all of these random thoughts have been floating around my head, and bam — this morning I put on my TV and the video for We Need a Resolution was on. And it hit me, I don’t need to wait until August 25 to remember her and write this. I can say this today, while it’s fresh and urgent.

This is my way of just expressing how much her music and her spirit meant to me, just as a fan. I miss you, Aaliyah. We all do. Nobody can take your place in our hearts.

We Need a Resolution is my throwback jam of the day.

What’s your favorite Aaliyah song, bellas? I know you’ve got one… or a couple!

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Davina says:
March 2, 2007, 11:42 am
One of my fav's is the classic "back n forth" and I love the whole One in a Million album
Aundrea says:
March 2, 2007, 12:09 pm
Words cannot even describe how I felt when Aaliyah died and I never met her but she was ...is a huge part of my life. But anyway my favorite song is "I Refuse" because it was so different.
blackjade says:
March 2, 2007, 12:09 pm
My husband an I were JUST talking about her and proceeded to comb through youtube for any old videos we could find. We Need a Resolution is one of my all time favs. More Than a Lover was great - it really started to show tha she was growing up, her sound was getting more mature. I still have some of her jams w/ timbo on my ipod shuffle and they always kick my workout up a notch.
blackjade says:
March 2, 2007, 12:11 pm
OMG!! I LOVE "I Refuse" I remember I played that nonstop. To this day, no one can talk to me while I'm listening to that song.
Niki says:
March 2, 2007, 12:25 pm
My favorite Aaliyah jam is between "If Your Girl Only Knew" and "We Need a Resolution". I was talking to some friends the other day about her and we agreed that while Beyonce was always going to have her shine, if "Baby Girl" was still around, B wouldn't be plastered everywhere like she is now. When Aaliyah died, she left a huge hole in the music industry. So many pretenders to her "street but sweet" throne--Ashanti and Christina Milian to name a couple. Ciara seems to capture her spirit on her newest album (especially on "Like A Boy", "Promise" and "I Proceed"), but there was only one "one in a million" Aaliyah.
Carolyn says:
March 2, 2007, 12:45 pm
"At Your Best" "Try Again" "I Refuse" and "If Your Girl Only Knew"
Andy says:
March 2, 2007, 12:49 pm
She is def missed, I was thinking the same thing when I saw the Ciara video that there are so many similarties. I miss her too
Glamourgirl says:
March 2, 2007, 12:56 pm
Wow, thank you so much for remembering her. I miss her too and yes, there IS a big hole in the industry now. With her voice and her collaborations with Missy and Timbland, there was no end the the creativity that she put out. This post brought out those old feelings, because I cried when I found out she died, and I cried every time I thought about her for weeks after. Yes, her success happened while she was real young and all I could think about after that time was "poor baby, poor baby." I just feel like she didn't deserve to go like that. It was too soon. But God knows what he's doing. Maybe it's a wake up call to the "industry" that they need to get their game on. Because, the music industry is SERIOUSLY lacking. Yes, Ciara IS about the only creative one out there (I know there are others but not really thinking about it right now). Such a shame.... But on a lighter note, saw the new Ciara video. Not sure if I like it but I was delighted that Reggie Bush was in the video. He's so hot. And I'm a saints fan, so YAY!!
Coffy says:
March 2, 2007, 1:05 pm
her song with DMX is the cut, it's called Come Back In One Piece. the video is hot too. For any of you ladies that have tivo, you can type her name in and it will let you know if any programs with her featured are going to be on. i did that and recorded the mtv monstermix, which is an hour long video compilation.
Staceyann Lindo says:
March 2, 2007, 1:13 pm
I can't narrow it down but I have my top 3, we need a resolution,one in a million,age ain't nothing but a number
Kez says:
March 2, 2007, 3:28 pm
I'm quite young and I didn't get to know her music and who she was until 4 years ago, but lord knows I miss her. I think about exacly the same things like what would she be doing now. My favs are Choosey lover, more than a woman and one in a million.
Ms Stella says:
March 2, 2007, 3:42 pm
I have Rock the Boat and If Your Girl Only Knew in my mp3 player now. We all know how talented and beautiful Aaliyah was but she also exuded such class which never came off as conceit. I see a lot of young ladies in the music business trying to capture her style but once you've seen the original it's pointless.
tnkbabe says:
March 2, 2007, 7:04 pm
oh gosh i miss her so much da other day i was just listening to the greatest hit album and i have to say the song i kept on playin over and over agian is how could i love dat song sooo much back and forth, rock the boat and try again are also some of my fav. aaliyah songz, she might be gone in perosn, but her soul will reach out to all of us and now and then we will all want to listen to an aaliyah record and remember the good times XXX
TheMakeupGirl says:
March 2, 2007, 9:14 pm
Ahhhh so many songs! Try again was definitely my jam...but I absolutely LOVED her One In A Million CD. My faves on that were If Your Girl Only Knew, 4 Page Letter, and the title track. I thought that her last CD was an indication of how far she had grown musically because I was bumpin Rock the Boat the other day.
TheMakeupGirl says:
March 2, 2007, 9:21 pm
Okay...I just watched that video again and DAMN...that girl was ahead of her time! I just sat there and said damn 4-5 times.
jerseybred says:
March 2, 2007, 9:31 pm
Back In One Piece, that's my jam...DMX: Do I handle my business, yeah....
kawaii says:
March 2, 2007, 9:47 pm
its weird cus i was on imdb.com yesterday reading the stuff on aaliyah and for the first time i saw the pictures of her death: the plane, the body bags, all the yucky stff. guess it was the fascination with the abomination that got me looking. so its ironic that bella's doing a post on her today. i love it! aaliyah was sooooo stunningly beautiful, talented, sweet, down to earth and she will be missed. since her death there has been a whole in the music industry that has not really been filled. i guess bey's tried to fill it but i personally am not convinced. perhaps thats why i like ciara soo much cus she reminds me of aaliyah, her innovative dancing, similar vocals, charisma. i think cici should embrace the fact that shes being compared to baby girl, its a huge compliment. but she should also be herself, let her music reflect her tastes etc but noone could ever replace aaliyah.
Shazza says:
March 2, 2007, 11:28 pm
Wow, great article. I was a big Aaliyah fan too. I remember telling my husband how she was one of the few pop tarts I liked. She was lovely without trying so hard and she seemed so nice and down to earth. Then a few weeks later, she was gone. My introduction to her was "Are You That Somebody" and it's still a song (and video) I never get tired of. She was so striking in 'We Need A Resolution'-her makeup and clothes were so on point! And I remember Britney jacking the snake pose at the MTV Awards a few weeks. I swear, I know it's evil but I can think of a few people that should've been on that plane instead of Aaliyah. No, let me stop and be positive. I'm glad we have her music and images to see, she was beautiful and talented. I still can't listen to ' I Miss You' without getting choked up. RIP, Babygirl, you'll never be forgotten.
Lady80 says:
March 3, 2007, 1:43 am
My faves were "Four Page Letter," "Hot like Fire," "If Your Girl Only Knew" and "Up Jumps the Boogie" with Missy and Timbaland. I loved watching her dance and her style was ridiculous! Huge Aaliyah fan...she will never be replaced.
Natural Sista says:
March 3, 2007, 5:00 am
"The One I Gave My Heart" classic.
Butta says:
March 3, 2007, 5:49 am
Awesome tribute to Baby Girl. She was such a talented, beautiful, and genuine young lady. I was an instant fan since the first album, "Age Aint Nothing But A Number". But a favorite Aaliyah song? Man, that's a tough one. I would have to narrow it down to a top 5: "Back and Forth", "One In A Million", "Try Again", "Rock the Boat", and "More Than A Woman". I'll be rockin' her CD's this weekend.
sloane says:
March 3, 2007, 12:27 pm
i was still in high school when aaliyah died, and i can't ever remember hurting so much over a celebrity's death. then september 11 happened . it felt like the world was coming to an end, and i remember thinking that if SHE could die at 22, anybody could. now that i'm 22 myself and it's been a few years since her death, i can totally immerse myself in her music without getting too sad. my favorite songs of hers are "back in one piece" (she did the tomboy thing so well in that video), "hot like fire", and "came to give love".
Dee says:
March 3, 2007, 1:47 pm
Mine are "Back and Forth", "More Than a Woman", and "At Your Best". I do have about 10 Aaliyah songs I listen to constantly and I am always surprised at how fresh and new they sound. Good music never feels outdated.
Lyric says:
March 3, 2007, 6:35 pm
Excellent article on aaliyah.. I loved rock the boat. Everytime I see Ciara I think of her and admit that she would have made some fierce competition for the R&B world.. RIP " babygirl"
flygyrl72 says:
March 3, 2007, 7:38 pm
My fave Aaliyah song is "One In A Million". That's also one of my favorite videos. With Ginuwine in it. And her & the dancer dancing in all white...bomb... I'll never forget where I was when I heard the news that she'd passed. I didn't find out til way later on, at night, I was out in the middle of Lake Michigan (Chicago), on my boy's boat, & we were speeding thru the water, even though it was pitch black & we couldn't see a thing. And it came on the radio & I just remember getting up to the rail & letting the wind hit my face & dry my tears as fast as they would fall. I was so sad when she died, it was so tragic...Oh Aaliyah, when we reminesce over you, for real...
davina e says:
March 3, 2007, 9:44 pm
I would have to say my favorite Aaliyah songs are "at your best", "one in a million", "rock the boat", "try again"... to be honest all of Aaliyah's songs are great... when she died it was the beginning of my junior year of college, and it seems like that was a school year filled with lost first Aaliyah then Sept.11th and then left eye passes away. I remember me and my suite mate playing Aaliyah's cd the whole year. There will never be another Aaliyah, she was a class act. I have to agree with everybody else on the fact that whenever I see Ciara I always think of Aaliyah in a way.
brytnee says:
March 4, 2007, 6:22 pm
I love Aaliyah. I also love the majority of her songs but one of my absolute all time faves is "Are You That Somebody?". Love her, love her, love her.
Black Honey says:
March 4, 2007, 9:09 pm
I always liked "Hot like Fire", "We need a resolution" and "more than a woman".
Great Face says:
March 5, 2007, 4:41 pm
Aaliyah is never far from my mind. She was sexy and classy without being ghetto or slutty.
sssssssssssssss says:
March 7, 2007, 2:01 am
I never was a fan of aaliyah but i knew she was a wonderful person with such a lovely voice,I do like a couple of songs she has made that i certainly know would be remeber in 10+yrs.Like "one in a million","are u that somebod?","i refuse(oh god i love that song)"and a couple more r.i.p aaliyah,and for all the fans im so sorry yall lost ya fav singer or idol...........very sorry,and cici i like u too keep it up girl!
Dey says:
March 9, 2007, 4:11 pm
Wow! Thanks for the Aaliyah piece. I miss her soooo much. I have so many favorites. If your girl only knew, More than a woman etc etc. Like you I did not personally know her but she was a kind soul; you could just tell. Just a beautiful example of what good family can bless a child with. I'm signing off cause I'm getting all misty eyed. Love you Aaliyah. Good bless.
newnaps4me says:
March 20, 2007, 11:25 am
i have gotta say the last song to the video..."Rock the boat".....she was so beautiful in that video. It was mesmerizing. She looked so at peace like she had some sort of preminition of what was soon to come. Every time i see that video...i get an eerie feeling....like some sort of connection. It's beautiful....
Auragirl says:
April 28, 2007, 10:22 am
Aaliyah was so beautiful and talented. R.I.P girl. I miss you. I still jam to many of Aaliyah's greatest hits to this day...a lot of them are on my ipod. I would have to say "It's Whatever" is one of my favorites. It's a gorgeous, sweet, calming and soothing slow song. (I'm surprised no one mentioned it!) Ooohhh I'm going to listen to it now!! Thanks Bella!
queen medina says:
June 1, 2007, 10:07 am
It feels good to hear others still think of Aaliyah. I was just thinking of her recently and I realized how much I miss her. You see so many RB singer..or talkers trying to be like her soo much. I grew up with her as well and she is just soo cool. All her videos and her dance moves were the best. I really miss seeing her in the videos and being in other people videos. Seeing what her new style is going to be. Ciara is trying...but she can never replace Aaliyah
Jared Leto says:
July 5, 2010, 1:31 pm
Pleased to hear this. Aaliyah was a great musician. A celebrity I both respect and miss. It's such a shame what happened to her. The pop art painting I purchased of her is stunning and will be cherished forever!
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August 28, 2010, 3:32 am
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