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Fans Honor The Late Artist Aaliyah On What Would Have Been Her 40th Birthday

The ’90s R&B singer died at age 22 in a 2001 plane crash.
Aaliyah is seen here attending an MTV event in New York on Aug. 1, 2001 -- less than a month before she died. She already had
Aaliyah is seen here attending an MTV event in New York on Aug. 1, 2001 -- less than a month before she died. She already had recorded a string of hit songs and was starting to make her mark in film.

Fans of Aaliyah, the ’90s R&B singer who died tragically at the age of 22 in a plane crash more than 17 years ago, flocked to Twitter Wednesday with one collective message: we miss you.

The reason for the outburst of love is due to the date — Jan. 16 would have been her 40th birthday.

Aaliyah’s star was on the rise when the small plane in which she was a passenger crashed right after takeoff in the Bahamas on Aug. 25, 2001. She had released a slew of timeless R&B hits, including “More Than A Woman,” “Are You That Somebody,” “Try Again,” “Back & Forth” and “One in a Million.” In the Bahamas, she has just finished a music video.

After starring opposite Jet Li in 2000’s “Romeo Must Die,” as well as in “Queen of the Damned” in 2001, she was slated to play the lead in the 2003 dance film “Honey” and take the role of Zee in “The Matrix” franchise. The parts eventually went to Jessica Alba and Marvin Gaye’s daughter Nona Gaye, respectively, after Aaliyah’s death.

She was also known for her collaborations with Missy Elliot and, most notably, R. Kelly, who she secretly married in 1994 at the age of 15. At the time Kelly was 27.

Reps for Kelly have confirmed the union but denied that he knew his bride was underage at the time. This denial has come under scrutiny amid the mounting allegations of abuse against Kelly and footage featured in the controversial 2018 documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.” The film includes footage from 1994 in which Kelly openly admits he knows Aaliyah’s age.

In one scene, Kelly can be heard saying, “Right now I’m producing a very talented lady — a young lady. She’s 14, Aaliyah. She’s real street.”

Their marriage was annulled not long after their wedding.

Aaliyah remains remembered for her songs, undeniable talent and as a woman who was poised for stardom but had her life taken too early.

If her fans are still posting tributes to her so many years after her death, it’s pretty apparent many still think of her as one in a million.  

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