By Monica Miller | September 11, 2023
It’s been twenty-two years since the untimely R&B queen Aaliyah‘s death. It still seems surreal after this amount of time. Last year Aaliyah’s boyfriend at the time of her death, Damon Dash, decided to open up about Aaliyah’s passing with The Real.
Aaliyah passed away in a plane crash on August 25, 2001, on her way to Florida after filming the video for “Rock the Boat” in the Bahamas.
Over two decades later, her boyfriend at the time, Damon Dash, told The Real that had he been there he would have made sure Aaliyah would not have been on that plane. He had stayed back for family events and we can only imagine the pain he had to go through with the questioning of “What ifs?”
Dash recounted the last conversation he had with her and Aaliyah’s last words: “She told me she was going to the Bahamas, and I was against it, like, ‘Yo, don’t go,’” Dash said. “And then down to the last — we had the Blackberry — down to the last Blackberry that we had, before she went there she was like, ‘Yo, I don’t like that plane.’
Damon went on to say: “And I was like, ‘Don’t get on it.’ And she was just like, ‘You know, I gotta do it.’ You know, it was a complicated situation, but she had to go do that video.”
The New York Post published the last photo of Aaliyah before the crash. She was pictured with a fan- Alvin Lightdouin. Alvin told The New York Post that Aaliyah had spoken to him for fifteen minutes and gave him a hug as well.
During his conversation with Aaliyah, Alvin Lightdouin had praised her for a recent charitable donation and Aaliyah explained: “God blessed me with money and now it’s time to give back.”
What makes it even more surreal is that it seems Aaliyah had a premonition about her death. A month before her death the R&B singer spoke about a recurring dream: “Someone’s following me and I don’t know why. I’m scared. Then suddenly I lift off. Far away. As if I’m swimming in the air. Nobody can reach me. Nobody can touch me. It’s a wonderful feeling”.
During Damon’s interview he opened up with an air of sad reflection: “I wouldn’t have got on that plane, you know what I’m saying? So it probably would have been different.”
Damon went on to add: “But you know, everything happens for a reason. ‘You know, and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and you just gotta deal with the cards that life deals you.” You can watch the interview for yourself to see how much Damon Dash is inwardly carrying still about Aaliyah’s death.
It’s hard to believe that such a bright star’s live could be snuffed out… She has been described as a sweetheart and not your typical industry person. Others have said that she was really humble…a grounded and kind person…that this world wasn’t enough for her so she had to move on.
The facts surrounding the plane crash leave us seeing a case where more caution was obviously needed. The plane was carrying too much weight and the pilot was new- only having flown twice before.
That on top of questions surrounding drug usage spelled a recipe for disaster. We really wish Aaliyah would have listened to her gut and the whole crew would have chosen a bit of time delay over rushing.
At Aaliyah’s funeral 22 doves were released, one for each year of Aaliyah’s life on earth. She truly was a bright spirit who had an empowering message through her music. We still are able to listen to Aaliyah reminding us to try again, to get up, to make the best out of our situations.
Have you ever had a gut feeling and listened to it to find out it was a great idea to actually listen? We have. Aaliyah’s death is a lesson for us all to slow down, listen, and follow through with what our gut tells us.
Aaliyah still leaves such a bright mark in our lives through her music, two decades later. It shows you can indeed leave a legacy long after you are gone. We remember Aaliyah for the bright soul she was and is still through her music.