Missy Elliott Pays Tribute To Aaliyah On Late Icon’s 41st Birthday

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Missy Elliott and Aaliyah forged a tight-knit friendship while working on the singer’s sophomore studio effort, 1996’s One In A Million. The multiplatinum album was produced entirely by Missy and frequent collaborator Timbaland.

But their friendship came to an abrupt end on August 25, 2001 when Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash shortly after filming the music video for “Rock The Boat.” She was 22 years old.

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On Thursday (January 16), the late music icon would’ve turned 41, so Missy made sure to commemorate her friend on Baby Girl’s special day.

“#HappyBDayAaliyah you are still inspiring people!” she wrote on Twitter. “Your edgyness & smooth dancing SO EFFORTLESS your UNIQUENESS & STYLE unmatched. MUSICALLY your songs will 4EVER be NEXT LEVEL! RIP babygal 4Ever Loved.” 

Missy included a video clip featuring Aaliyah discussing her preference for the “dark side” alongside a behind-the-scenes look at the “We Need A Resolution” video shoot.

The R&B star delivered three albums before her untimely death, including what would prove to be her last project, 2001’s Aaliyah. A handful of posthumous releases would follow.

In December 2002, a collection of previously unreleased material was released as Aaliyah’s first posthumous album, I Care 4 U, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, selling roughly 280,000 copies in its first week. The project’s lead single, “Miss You,” debuted at No. 3 on the Hot 100 and landed at No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Although her legacy has been marred by controversy due to her relationship with embattled R&B star R. Kelly, she will always be considered one of the greatest R&B artists of all time.

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