In her 22 years on this planet, Aaliyah Haughton (known simply by her first name) made more hits than some people do in their whole lives. The "Are You That Somebody?," "I Need A Resolution," and "Try Again" singer would turn 31 years old today, Jan. 16, if she hadn't been killed in 2001. Learn all about how the princess of R&B died and more, below.
How did Aaliyah die?
Nearly 17 years ago on August 25, 2001, Aaliyah had just finished shooting the music video for her song "Rock The Boat" in the Bahamas. The production team had actually planned to fly to Florida the next day, but they finished early so they booked a sooner flight. The twin-engine Cessna 402B barely made it off the ground when it crashed and exploded, and everyone on board — including Aaliyah — perished.
Aaliyah(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
It turns out that the plane was technically too small to hold the entire production team and equipment, but the crew overloaded it by 700lb to make everyone fit. That's what caused the plane to go nose-down and crash, but the pilot also allegedly had alcohol and cocaine in his system.
Where is Aaliyah's grave?
Aaliyah was originally laid to rest in a crypt at the Ferncliff Mausoleum in Hartsdale, New York, but she was later moved to a private room at the left end of a corridor in the Rosewood Mausoleum. This was after an extravagant funeral ceremony on Aug. 31, 2001. Her silver and copper casket was brought to the Frank E.Campbell Funeral Home and St. Ignatius Loyola Church in a glass hearse drawn by horses. Beloved by the music community, celebrities including Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Gladys Knight, Lil' Kim and Sean Combs came to mourn her.
Aaliyah and Nsync. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
What does Aaliyah mean?
The name "Aaliyah" is of Arabic descent and has different meanings in different cultures. However, they are all pretty similar and inspiring. TheNameMeaning.com says that the definition is "sublime, lofty, high up, and exalted" which we think descirbes the singer perfectly. The name actually had a surge of popularity thanks to the singer.
Aaliyah and Damon Dash (Photo Credit: Splash)
Was Aaliyah ever married?
Aaliyah allegedly had an illegal marriage to R. Kelly when she was just 15 years old and he was 26. Aaliyah claimed that she lied about her age, telling R. Kelly that she was 18. The marriage was annulled less than a year later because she was not old enough to consent to marriage.
Aaliyah was on the road to having a legitimate marriage when she died. At the time she was dating Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash, and he claims they had been planning to get married. We're so sad that she never got to have her fairytale wedding and amazing life, but we're grateful to have Aaliyah's amazing music to rememebr her by.