I wrote the following words in 2007, for a post titled simply: I Miss You.

…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….

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…”

Eight years. I can’t believe it’s been eight years. How time has flown. But Aaliyah Haughton – forever thought of as Baby Girl to her legions of fans around the world — will never be forgotten. Her fans will never forget her legacy, her talent, her beauty. She blessed us with lasting musical gifts while she was here. And in a cruel twist of fate, she was taken from us far too soon.

Real talk – writing this post brought tears to my eyes. There are so many more things in this world to cry about, but just hearing Aaliyah’s honeyed voice sing my favorite of her ballads made my eyes burn and water up, contemplating what could have been. If only.

Aaliyah, you will never be forgotten. You will always live on in the hearts of your fans.

Click here to support the Aaliyah Memorial Fund. And please, feel free to share your favorite Aaliyah songs and memories with me.

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BMR says:
August 25, 2009, 2:02 am
Eight years. Wow. I loved her. And I mean that. She was the first artist that I can say I was a complete and total fan and wanted to be just like. And when I heard about her death I, like you Bella, cried. I was 15 and yeah, she was the one I looked up to. Can you imagine what just being in The Matrix would have done for her career? Add in Charlie's Angels and Honey and it would have skyrocketed. Yeah, I'm getting teary eyed thinking what we lost. RIP Aaliyah. You will never, ever be forgotten.
BK says:
August 25, 2009, 6:59 am
still can't believe it's been 8 yrs.. My daughter was 7 and she cried so much I thought it was a loved one until I realized what exactly happened.. My favorite Aaliyah song was if your girl only knew.. but she had so many hits for me
negrita says:
August 25, 2009, 7:27 am
beautiful tribute. i still wonder and whom she would've become. so much talent and potential. my teenage soundtrack is incomplete without that debut album of hers. every time i see a beyonce/ciara/rihanna/keri hilson video, i see traces of her.her legacy truly lives on.
ChocolateOrchid says:
August 25, 2009, 8:19 am
I can't believe it's been 8 yrs! I really loved her music. To witness her growth as an artist and watching her evolve only to have all that end suddenly is heartbreaking. I do miss her.
Niki says:
August 25, 2009, 9:26 am
A bright, shining star gone way too soon. I marvel to think of all the moves she would have made in the last 8 years, for she was definitely on the path to international sensation status. Wow, these days, it seems like we have lost way more than we have gained in the music industry.
nolagirl says:
August 25, 2009, 9:49 am
I am the same age as Aaliyah. she would have been 30 this year. I remember when my friends said put it on CNN.... That was a hard couple of weeks in 2001. I can't believe its been 8 years.
Courtie says:
August 25, 2009, 11:22 am
Yeah, it's been eight whole years. I always identified with her because we were the same age -- I wanted to be her when she first came out! I like Beyonce and all those girls, but I used to stan hard for Aaliyah! It's so crazy to think about where she would be today. Sad.
Shara says:
August 25, 2009, 12:14 pm
Great post. Aaliyah's death was so overwhelming. I felt like I was dreaming. Right after she passed the September 11th tragedy took place. It was just too much. Aaliyah was beautiful and had her own signature style -- musically and fashion wise.
The Style and Beauty Doctor says:
August 25, 2009, 1:04 pm
This beautiful post almost made me cry! Great memorial :) Yes, 2001 was a terrible year. Aaliyah's death, then 9/11, and then in NYC a flight to the Dominican Republic crashed in October killing all aboard. I also remember being in college and one of our classmates was missing and turned out he was killed by a fellow student. It was a very sad second half of the year. It was really nice to read all of the roles Aaliyah would have had if she were alive. I know she would have worked her beautiful behind off in them.
Regina says:
August 25, 2009, 6:15 pm
For those of us who did not know her personally but feel as if we did it is a loss. I watched the "I Miss You" tribute video earlier today and got all misty eyed. Such a beauty and talent taken from us so soon. However, for her family & friends I can't begin to imagine the heartbreak they still feel looking at old family photos, school pictures, etc. For them this was a tragedy. After 8 years there are still no words that can explain the feelings running rampant... Gone but not forgotten... RIP, Baby Girl, we miss you.
Kels says:
August 25, 2009, 7:18 pm
Aaliyah was going to be the biggest black female star in Hollywood. One thing that I find so interesting about Aaliyah that makes her so different from, say Beyonce, is that everyone liked her. She just seemed so down to earth and real so that even if you weren't a fan of her music, you couldn't help but like her as a personality. I don't know anyone who didn't like Aaliyah growing up. And, goodness, Tupac and Biggie were just 25 and 24! I was a teenager when they passed and that was grown to me. Now I'm almost 30 and a 25 year old is a kid to me! They were just kids!
Denise says:
August 25, 2009, 8:51 pm
Great post 'Bella. It is so surreal. Like everyone, I can't believe it has been 8 years. I had just bought her album the week before she passed. It had been on constant rotation....I was packing to move at the time, and it was my soundtrack. When I heard about her passing, it really hit me hard. It is very sad. On a positive note, she put out hot music. If her album Aaliyah were released today, it could still fly.
Shell says:
August 26, 2009, 12:34 am
I enjoyed Aaliyah's music but I especially liked her as an actress. I felt like she was going to be a big star. When she died, to me it was like a sad loss for movies.
Los Angelista says:
August 26, 2009, 4:05 am
Kels is right about everybody liking Aaliyah. Everybody was rooting for her. We wanted her to succeed. I still remember where I was when I heard. Gone much too soon. I hope her soul is at peace.
Lovelyrett says:
August 26, 2009, 6:42 pm
Time sure does fly fast. It doesn't seem like it's been that long. I guess especially for those who still listen to her music freqently like I do. I loved Aaliyah since she hit the seen. That's why it's so hard to name a favorite of her songs. I guess that would be most of them. I particularly remember one from her first album. I think it's called "Street Thang". It was a slow balled. It's still one of my favorites. She was so gorgeous and her personality was flouring. That make her much more beautiful. God, I miss her much. Her music wasn't like anyone else's, really. When you heard it you knew it was her. Such a loss. I'm still heartbroken.
nikkibee says:
August 26, 2009, 7:37 pm
my fave Aaliyah song is from the Next Friday soundtrack---I think it's called "I Don't Wanna...".....it was soooo hot that I bought the soundtrack for that one song and when my copy was stolen, I bought another!!! I still rock it to this day...it's deep...
Victoria Halliwell says:
September 2, 2009, 12:28 pm
Am Watching Romeo Must die now where there is a scene which shows her true art as 'the actor'of which I am sure she had many others- Aaliyah is/ was great. To many of the greats die young, the influential and the recognisable. The dangerous souls. Maybe they burn so bright and achieve so much because they are somehow aware that they are under time limits. Or maybe they are naturaly brilliant and killed by people cant ever let us know what we can achieve.
Victoria Halliwell says:
September 2, 2009, 1:12 pm
p.s Romeo Must Die- a film about power and the stupidness of power. The true winners are.....


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