I was about as close to in love with Aaliyah as one can be to a celebrity crush. Her music was always on the edgier side of R&B, her dance moves were on point, her voice was like silk, and her evolution was truly natural, not some staged reinvention. The day she died I was woken at the bagel shop. I was slicing bagels for a sandwich, I heard the news on the small set above the drink fridge, and I dropped to my knees. (Probably should’ve taken a picture of rings on my knees from the non-slip mat to prove that but, eh, hindsight.)

Anyway, I loved all of her music. Never one to ride trends, she broke grounds with the aid of Timbaland and Missy. Those three would’ve dominated for longer had she not left us so soon. So many imposters have come and gone, but Aaliyah is forever.

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