The late great Aaliyah Dana Haughton will always be remembered as the full package: incomparable beauty, angelic vocal talent, smooth-as-silk dance moves, veteran level acting skills in her Hollywood debut and a general humbleness about it all that still brings many to tears even two decades after her death on August 25, 2001.
One of those people that recently got watery-eyed while reflecting on the Princess Of R&B was her former labelmate and music collaborator Tank during the latest episode of N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN’s Drink Champs podcast.
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Although Tank tried to hold back the emotions with all his strength, the “I Deserve” crooner couldn’t hide his hurt for much long while discussing what it meant to be validated by Baby Girl. “Aaliyah told me, ‘You’re ready — you’re ready for this shit,'” he said candidly, going on to add, “Nothing validates you more than a woman. When Aaliyah says ‘You’re that guy,’ that makes all the difference in the world. Nothing trumps that. And when she said that to me, I took it, and I ran with it. I said ‘Aaliyah said it, so can’t none of y’all f–k with me! I don’t care what none of y’all say; Aaliyah said ‘I’m Him.'”
Aaliyah hired Tank as a backup singer in 1997 after noticing how good he was doing on tour with Swing Mob/Superfriends affiliate Ginuwine. It soon led to him co-writing and singing background vocals on a few of her classic songs, including standout album cuts “I Can Be” and “What If” off her final album, Aaliyah, and an unreleased song titled “Come Over” that eventually made it on her 2002 posthumous compilation, I Care 4 U.
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Aaliyah’s loss will forever be a sore spot for many, especially those who were blessed to have known her in real life. May her soul continue to rest eternally in peace, and we send a special shoutout to Tank for keeping her memory alive with great reflections.
Watch the full episode of Drink Champs with Tank below:
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