The seductive beat to “One In A Million” begins to creep through the staticy speakers in the cab. The driver’s hand gravitates to the dial. All-of-a-sudden, the back seat feels warmer. It’s impossible not to listen. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, when an Aaliyah song comes on, the engine to a time machine begins to rev and you are transported to a happy place, somewhere you’ve been before. Emotions start to rise and memories begin to play. The bass intensifies with each decibel, I feel like I’m back on the steps in Junior High School. Her music has that kind of pull.

Today Aaliyah would have been 34. Before her untimely death in 2001, she was on the cusp of super stardom. Her role in the Jet Li-led film “Romeo Must Die” solidified her position in Hollywood. Her song “We Need A Resolution” transformed the once tomboy into a sexy grown woman. Every female, regardless of size, race or age, learned to slither like the princess.

I still feel robbed when I think of the plane crash that took her life. But I am grateful for such a robust catalog of music she left behind. Her presence will always be felt and artists like Drake, Timbaland, Missy and DMX keep her spirit alive. She left behind a long visual trail of smiles, dances, faces and more…

RELATED STORIES: Vince Herbert: “I Think If Aaliyah Was Here, She Definitely Would Have Liked Drake”

RELATED STORIES: Aaliyah’s Posthumous Album Cover Revealed, Plus A Walk Down Memory Lane [GIFS]

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