It’s been almost two decades, but Aaliyah’s death is still shaking the lives of those who were closest to her. The young singer, actor, and dancer lost her life in a tragic plane crash after shooting her video for “Rock The Boat” — a song which, like many of her others, became a chart-topping success. Rapper, producer, and songwriter Missy Elliott was one of Aaliyah’s closest friends when she died, and she tweeted a heartfelt message on this year’s anniversary. Elliott mourned and celebrated her friend, as she has pretty much every year since her loss.
Here is her tweet.
Aaliyah (Babygirl) I can only imagine how great you would be today winning oscars & creating sick music & still setting fashion trends! Your mom & brother @RAD_6 & your fans been holding it down 4 u❤️you will always be A One in A Million sleep peacefully angel Babygirl pic.twitter.com/daHhoIs8k5
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) August 25, 2018
For many of Aaliyah’s fans and loved ones, the tragedy was compounded because it might have been avoided. The video was shot in the Bahamas and Aaliyah was excited to get back to Florida. She had a flight booked the next day, but an earlier flight on a smaller plane was available. Aaliyah and much of her crew decided to load up their gear and take that flight.
The plane was small but the trip from the Bahamas to Florida is a very short one, so they figured they’d be just fine. The distance is so short, in fact, that there’s now a ferry you can take that makes the trip in under four hours. This flight should have taken about an hour. The small plane couldn’t handle the weight of the gear and had more passengers aboard than it was rated for. The pilot even argued with coordinators about the weight being unsafe, but was eventually convinced to fly. The plane crashed and exploded just before the end of the runway.
Aaliyah, just 22 at the time, did not survive. Nobody did. A total of nine lives were lost.
Elliott’s tweet opened the floodgates for an outpouring of love for Aaliyah and for the close bond she and Missy shared.
Her legacy sure will live on Ms. Missy. She still is One in a Million. pic.twitter.com/U7UNGzaJHO
— Choi Chan (@Choichan) August 26, 2018
Thank you for believing in her and your talent. For being a great friend to her and for having supported her in her dream. Her legacy lives and will live forever. #RipAaliyah pic.twitter.com/tegZ97nnzi
— ▪Dan¡ #RipAaliyah (@allnitelauren) August 25, 2018
real love !✨ r.i.p. babygirl pic.twitter.com/BCdTNdNhGT
— gυαмgαℓ (@guamgalmer) August 26, 2018
Throwback pic of me and Aaliyah, taken at a MAC makeup event in NYC. She was also so cool, every time, I ran into her at a industry event, The Irony of me wearing a RIP Biggie shirt in this photo, has always been a bit weird to me though. #Aaliyah pic.twitter.com/JQaNwK1YjX
— Alan Barcoff (@alanbarcoff) August 25, 2018
— IT'S ME!!!!! (@MissLeeLee328) August 25, 2018
The fact we still here talking about her watching her movies listening to her music is indicative of how timeless she is and that her legacy and memory is still alive and strong.
— Jacqueline (@jcaro1031) August 25, 2018
Rest in Paradise Aaliyah pic.twitter.com/6I3XRQ2OIa
— Gary McFarlane (@GaryMC1995) August 26, 2018
Let’s celebrate by jamming to one of the earliest songs Missy wrote with Aaliyah.