More than a Woman: Reflecting on Aaliyah's Legacy Eight Years Later

What would have become of the L-I-Y-A-H?..

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Eight years after a plane crash ended the life of 22-year old Aaliyah Dana Haughton, better known the the singular Aaliyah, Jayson Rodriguez tries to put her career and possibilities in perspective. From MTV:

Ever since the Detroit singer and dancer debuted in 1994 with Age Ain't Nothing But a Number, we all watched Aaliyah blossom. Her initial look of dark sunglasses and baggy clothes evolved into a more adult look on her next album, One In a Million. She was always beautiful, but later as a young woman she exuded the kind of appeal that was as sexy as a whisper in your ear — so subtle that it never had to be overtly pointed out.

She also possessed the type of talent and charisma that led many to believe her future was as bright as a supernova.

...

Her credits are easy to remember: three albums that were each certified double-platinum along with the aforementioned "Romeo Must Die," which helped to put her on Hollywood's map. Another film, "Queen of the Damned," was released after she passed.

Her legacy is slinkier — immense yet understated, just like her voice. Traces of it lie the way Ciara moved in the video for "Promise." It's there in Rihanna's runway-fashion sense. Keri Hilson's around-the-way persona and Nicole Scherzinger's simmering sexuality share a debt to her. And the sense of what her career could have ultimately become is evident in Beyoncé's multimedia presence.

...

[Aaliyah] always felt different, more mature than her age — and her ascent also felt more gradual and firm, and when she passed there was a sadness that resonated because she was set to soar.

"I'll be more than a lover, more than a woman," she sang. "I'm gonna be more. I don't think you're ready."

There truly was no way we could have been.

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