In 2001, Aaliyah had just released her third album, she was enjoying the success of her single, Try Again, and only a year before had earned a Grammy Award. She was very much in love with boyfriend Damon Dash, Jay-Z's Roc-a-Fella partner.
In August, the singer flew to the Bahamas to finish shooting a video for her album's third single, Rock the Boat. She was set to leave the island on August 25th, but after she wrapped up her parts, Aaliyah decided to leave a day early.
She boarded a twin-engine Cessna 402B to travel from the Bahamas to Florida. The plane took off, and less than a minute later, it crashed, only feet away from the runway. Six passengers died immediately, and Aaliyah was among them.
Aaliyah was only 22 years old, and she had her whole career ahead of her. Her life ended before she reached the peak of her career. We're remembering Aaliyah and other singers who died way too young, on their way to the top.
Selena: This singer/songwriter is often left off of lists of those who died too young. But Selena was just starting to take off into the mainstream when she was brutally murdered in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was called "The Queen of Tejano Music" and the "Mexican Madonna". She was nominated for a Grammy in 1994. In 1995, Selena was fighting with Yolanda Saldivar, the woman she hired to manage her clothing line, over suspicions embezzlement. Yolanda was stealing money from the company and trying to hide it from her boss, Selena. After a heated argument in Saldivar's hotel room, Saldivar shot Selena in the chest and tried to speed off in her truck. Police caught Saldivar, but Selena died in a local hospital later that day.
Buddy Holly: Referred to as "the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll," Buddy Holly was a true legend, being one of The Beatles' biggest inspirations. John Lennon and Paul McCartney reportedly named the band as an homage to Buddy Holly's: The Crickets. Holly enjoyed a year and a half of success before his fatal airplane crash. He was only 22 years old. Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were also in the crash, and it became known as The Day the Music Died. It inspired Don McClean's song, American Pie and is regarded as the "greatest tragedy rock and roll has ever suffered."
Ian Curtis: The front man of Joy Division seemed to live an entire lifetime of despair and depression. But he was only 23 when he died. Curtis was known for his deep, haunting voice, and often had epileptic fits onstage. During a party on their American tour, Curtis left his band mates early and went home. He hung himself early the next morning. Joy Division never reached mainstream success, but after Ian's death, the rest of the group went on to form New Order.
Sid Vicious: The Sex Pistols were true punk pioneers. I'm pretty sure if they knew "punk" would come to mean Avril Lavigne dying her hair pink and talking about how cool she is, they would have thrown up. On everyone. Sid Vicious didn’t really contribute much--musically speaking--to The Sex Pistols. But image was everything, and he certainly made The Sex Pistols seem hardcore, nasty, and totally raw. When he was 21, Sid woke up to find his girlfriend, Nancy, dead from a stab wound. The couple had been taking an insane amount of drugs the night before, and Vicious was arrested for murder. After being released on bail, he overdosed on heroin.
Notorious B.I.G.: B.I.G. was the face of the East during the notorious East Coast/West Coast feud of the nineties. A year and a half after Tupac was shot and killed, the same was handed to Biggie. On March 9th, 1997, he was shot in a drive by shooting in L.A. at the age of 24. His album, Life after Death was released fifteen days later.