August 25th will always be a somber day for fans of R&B and anyone who pays attention to pop culture. That’s because, on this day 22 years ago, the talented one-named triple threat Aaliyah tragically lost her life in a fatal plane crash that occurred just hours after completing the final scenes to the music video for her 2001 sensual single, “Rock The Boat.”
The tragic event would spark two-and-a-half decades and counting of tribute songs, R.I.P tees, portrait tattoos on the arms (and backs) of your favorite hip-hop hitmakers and a general sense of disbelief that we could lose someone so tragically who was destined for certified superstardom.
The Queen That Never Was, yet somehow still will always be.
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While we know some of the many wins Aaliyah accomplished in life, from releasing two multiplatinum albums in a span of three years to becoming the youngest Black female to perform at the Oscars at 19 years old with her 1997 Anastasia ballad, “Journey To The Past,” there’s a lot that she was preparing to do that got cut short due to her death. Many song collaborations, starring roles in movies, clothing and shoe deals with some of the top designers and plans for her own growth as a young Black businesswoman were all wiped away for reasons that may never truly make sense. Still, although she didn’t get a chance to make any of it come to fruition, we’ll always do the Princess of R&B justice by honoring that vision — Baby Girl was about to blow!
From a Footaction deal that was reportedly confirmed just a week prior to her death, to a rumored Roc-A-Fella remix for “More Than A Woman” that, as the story goes, she was en route to record on this very day 22 years ago, there was a lot that Aaliyah had in store towards her future success and limitless star power.
We’ll miss you always, Aaliyah.
As we remember 22 years since the loss of Aaliyah, keep scrolling to learn about 10 uncompleted projects that Baby Girl had on the horizon:
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Destiny Unfulfilled: 10 Uncompleted Aaliyah Projects That Had Amazing Potential was originally published on blackamericaweb.com
1. Releasing A Manga Series Based On Her 2001 Japanimation Album Promo
Originally designed by Warren Fu specifically for the original Aaliyah album run, it was highly speculated that a manga/anime tie-in was in the works as well. The character design alone would’ve been an easy fit on Toonami.
2. Collaborating On A Japanese-Inspired Clothing Line With Best Friend Kidada JonesSource:Getty
Kidada herself confirmed this in FADER‘s 2008 Icon Issue (#54) in tribute to Aaliyah, telling the outlet, “We were in the process of starting a girl’s clothing line, it was called Dolly Pop. Right when she passed we were getting ready to sign our contracts for that. We were making plans for this brand that was gonna be girly and cute and have Japanese inspiration. This was seven or eight years ago, so the whole Japanese inspiration wasn’t at the forefront.”
3. A State Property Remix To “More Than A Woman” Produced By Just Blaze
A flip on a 1968 Moonrakers sample? Let us hear it, fam!
4. Starring In An Interracial Love Story Set During The 1958 Newport Jazz FestivalSource:Getty
In a throwback Yahoo! LAUNCH interview with the film’s co-producer Robert Teitel for State Street Pictures, he told the outlet, “George [Tillman] and I had lunch with Aaliyah, and we were talking about some of our projects. We’ve been having a tough time trying to do a period piece. It was hard to get off the ground. Aaliyah fell in love with the story. The writer-director, Alison Swan, pitched it to her. They came up with this take. Aaliyah was so committed to it. George and I went to the studio – we have a deal with 20th Century Fox. With Aaliyah, it just elevated the project.”
5. A Live Duet With Seal At An October 2001 Breast Cancer Benefit Concert In LASource:Getty
This event occurred just two months after her passing on October 27, 2001, where Aaliyah and Seal were scheduled to perform a live duet together. Instead, the “Kiss From A Rose” crooner ended up performing a somber rendition of “Prayer For The Dying” in tribute to her while Aaliyah’s brother, Rashad Haughton, presented the event with a $41,000 check in her memory.
6. Merging R&B And Rock With Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) And Jonathan Davis (Korn)
Now this would’ve been an epic cross-genre music collaboration! Particularly with Davis spearheading the Queen Of The Damned soundtrack, Aaliyah’s now-final starring role in the film would’ve made that a must-happen mashup.
7. A Footaction Collaboration
Being that Aaliyah herself was a certified sneakerhead, we can only imagine the possibilities.
8. The Originally-Planned ‘Sparkle’ Remake With Whitney Houston
Aaliyah’s leaked rendition of “Giving Up” had us sold from the beginning.
9. Both 2003 Sequels To ‘The Matrix’
Aaliyah as an action star was only teased in Romeo Must Die thanks to some clever wirework, and the combined efforts between The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions could’ve easily opened up doors to heroine status in the vain of Halle Berry and Zoe Saldaña.
10. The Janet Jackson Collaboration
It was going to happen. We were robbed. That is all.