Ten years ago R&B superstar Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas, one minute after her chartered flight took off. The 22-year-old singer had just finished filming a music video for her upcoming single, ‘Rock the Boat,’ with director Hype Williams. She was killed along with eight other passengers.
On the tenth anniversary of her death, tributes have been pouring in from Aailyah's family and friends, including her then-boyfriend, record executive Damon Dash, who spoke about Aaliyah's passing for the first time in detail with Billboard.com.
“My heart was broken. Nothing prepares you for that,” Dash shared. "She was intelligent and she caught me. I couldn't get anything past her. She had a very quick mind and a very kind heart."
“She was always working and shooting movies. She was always gone for like four months at a time, then (she would) come back and be gone for another month. She had to rehearse and I was doing my own thing, so it was really hard for us to get long stretches of time together. When you’re with someone like that you buy into a life of being separate, but again, I couldn’t help my feelings,” Dame added.
“The energy we created together for people to observe was kind of crazy. We’d be in a room full of people talking to each other and it felt like everyone was listening, but it would be just us. It would be like we were the only ones in the room,” Dash recalled. “It was like something was going down in history every time I was with her. Every time I was around her I felt it was the place to be.”
“Our time together meant so much that when we got more time, we felt like that (engagement) would be next,” Dame added, “She was one of the best people I ever met. Even with the pain I felt, I would do it all over again.”
Aaliyah’s third album (which was her last) "Aaliyah" was released on July 17, 2001, nearly one month before her tragic death. The album has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide.