An Intimate Look at the Tragic Aircraft Accident That Killed Aaliyah

Aaliyah was spending time with her lover, Roc-A-Fella Records billionaire Damon Dash, only two weeks before her terrible murder. They were dancing to Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall record in the East Hampton, Long Island mansion that Damon Dash shared with Jay-Z. She was carefree, content, and in love with him.

Aaliyah had some concerns regarding the plane’s security

A few days later, on August 22, 2001, the R&B singer was in Miami to shoot underwater scenes for the music video of her next song, “Rock the Boat.” Following that, Aaliyah and the team continued shooting in the Abaco Islands, which are located in the Bahamas. In a subsequent interview with The Real in 2016, Dash would admit that he had given the singer the advice not to fly to the island and that she had voiced anxiety about the safety of the jet, both of which he had given.

On August 24, the singer got up very early so that she could be in a position to film the sunrise over the island for the music video. The following day, she and her dancers were going to board a boat in order to carry out their performance on deck. “Everyone had a wonderful time throughout those four days since they were so gorgeous. We pulled together as a unit and worked together as a family “The statement was made by video director Hype Williams.” Saturday, the day that just ended, was without a doubt one of the most enjoyable days I’ve ever had working in this industry. Everyone there had the impression that they were a part of something very remarkable, namely her song.”


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Aaliyah had finished filming her portion of the music video a day earlier than was anticipated, and on the evening of August 25, she climbed aboard a twin-engine Cessna 402-B along with a number of other people who worked on the project. The plane went down in the area close to the runway not long after it had taken off from Marsh Harbor, which resulted in a fire breaking out.

Aaliyah, who was 22 years old at the time, was among the nine people that passed away. In 2003, a pathologist testified at an inquest held in Nassau that she died as a result of serious burns and brain trauma, with the singer slipping into such a state of shock that it is inconceivable that she would have been able to recover.

The pilot was not authorized to fly the plane

The pilot, Luis Morales, was on probation for crack cocaine possession less than two weeks before the flight, and according to sources, the jet was suspected to have been heavily overweight. Once the autopsy was finished, it was discovered that he had traces of cocaine and alcohol within his system. In addition to this, he was not certified to fly the craft that crashed.

On the 31st of August, 2001, a funeral procession for the singer made its way through the streets of Manhattan, culminating at St. Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church amidst an outpouring of sadness from the general public. A private memorial service was held, and following the service, 22 birds were set free as a symbol of the singer’s years on earth.

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‘Rock the Boat’ was released posthumously and nominated for a Grammy

On October 9, 2001, the music video for “Rock the Boat” was shown for the first time anywhere in the globe. In addition, a special devoted to the production of the film lasted for half an hour. “This is a highly unique and important endeavor. Everyone, as they usually do, poured their entire selves into the work with the hope that it will be appreciated by people all around the world “Williams stated. “I’m aware that there will be a lot of suffering on everyone’s part, but I think it’s all the more reason for people to appreciate what we’ve accomplished as a group.”

Following her untimely death, the song “Rock the Boat” was issued as a posthumous single, and the album Aaliyah, which had been published in July 2001, shot straight to the top of the charts. During the 44th annual Grammy Awards, the song was also considered for the award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

Aaliyah’s parents filed a lawsuit alleging that multiple corporations, including Virgin Records and Blackhawk International Airlines Inc., were to blame for the accident in May of 2002. In the following year, the parents reached a settlement with the defendants for an amount that was not disclosed.

“She was a joyful and cheerful person. She had nothing but love to give to everyone around her, and she gave up a significant portion of who she was without any thought for herself “Williams added. “I’m not sure whether anyone else but she actually grasps that aspect of her personality. She was an amazing lady who exuded a sense of grace throughout her entire being. I’m not sure if her devoted followers are aware of that fact about her.”

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