The 'Aaliyah Effect': 15 Years Later
She was a singer, dancer, budding actress and model. At just 22-years-old, Aaliyah Dana Haughton was a household name and icon, who contributed to the ever-changing sound of music. She came on the scene with her debut album, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number in 1994 and ever since that day, her star quickly catapulted and took a life of its own. She was the "It" girl of the 90's and early 2000's; if she wasn't making a surprise cameo appearance in other artists' music videos (Junior M.A.F.I.A's I Need You Tonight, Notorious B.I.G's One More Chance remix video, Lil Kim's Crush On You, Nicole Wray's Make It Hot, Static Major's At It Again video, Timbaland & Magoo's Luv 2 Luv Ya and Up Jumps Da Boogie to name a decent few) then she was featured on the verse or hook of some of the hottest songs of the times and had nearly every of her male counterparts swooning over the singer (Treach of Naughty By Nature, Static Major, DMX, Dru Hill's Nokio, Busta Rhymes and Jay-Z).
She had this natural coolness about herself, that emanated through her music as well as her personal style. She was very soft spoken but proper, her long dark hair, draped over her left eye. She wore mostly dark-tinted sunglasses, which she stated In previous interviews were to help her overcome her nervousness on stage and ended up becoming a permanent part of her wardrobe. She wore black most of the times and had this graceful quietness about herself that was genuine, yet refreshing. Since her untimely death on August 25, 2001, with the new wave of singers ( and some rappers) who have thrust themselves onto the scene; Aaliyah has become a frequently sampled and imitated artist amongst the generation (J. Cole sampled Aaliyah and Missy Elliot's song Best Friend, Chris Brown used vocals for his song Think They Know, Drake used unreleased vocals for his song Enough Said, both The-Dream and Omarion paid tribute to the singer in their own remakes of her 1996 classic One In A Million & the list goes on). In addition to that, for years fans were put on the edge of their seat with continued rumors and even what appeared to be legit trailers and sneak peeks of an alleged movie of the singers life (which unfortunately Wendy Williams got behind the wheel of production and made a distasteful, poorly slapped together monologue entitled 'Princess of R&B") as well as an alleged new album that had the likes of Drake posthumously putting together. These days, seemingly in some way or the other, a new female artist is emerging striking comparisons to the singer (Keshia Chante, Natalie La Rose) which only comes as a personal boost for their own fledgling careers within the industry, instead of boosting from originality. And every year on the anniversary of her passing, fans and admiring celebrities alike never fail to post a picture, classic song lyric or other form of tribute to the singer - which has introduced the late singer to a whole new wave of fans and aspects of the music world.
Seeing as it's been 15 years already since we lost the star in physical form, her legacy has proved to be solid in it's own right and will continue to be for 15 more years to come...