Aaliyah in "Rock the Boat" music video crop

Aaliyah in the music video for "Rock the Boat".

The personal relationships of Aaliyah Dana Haughton have garnered attention since her death in 2001. Though she preferred to keep her "private life private", Aaliyah's relationships were not stopped from being the subject of media speculation. Additionally, several of those involved with her have revealed aspects of the relationships, speaking fondly about their time with her. This includes longtime collaborators Missy Elliott, Timbaland and Ginuwine. Her brother Rashad Haughton has spoken of their friendship as well.

She was rumored to have married R. Kelly in 1994. A marriage certificate was produced as evidence of the marriage and it was apparently annulled in February 1995. Both denied the relationship and being anything but friends at the time he helped to start her career.

Outside of public figures such as herself, Aaliyah claimed to not date very often and in an interview spoke of how little she dated. During the last year of her life, she was involved with Damon Dash. Dash did not reveal the relationship until after she died and claimed the pair had plans to marry.

She was rumored to have relationships with Jay-Z and Ginuwine, both of which she denied. She was known to be friends with both, Jay-Z even remixing her song "Miss You" to describe how much he and others missed her.

Haughton family Edit

Parents Edit

Though little is known about her relationship with her father, Aaliyah was known to get along well with her mother. She supported her daughter's career. She had received eye surgery at the time Aaliyah went to film "Rock the Boat" and was tended to by Aaliyah's father Michael Haughton. Diane Haughton was visibly upset during Aaliyah's funeral, still grieving over Aaliyah's passing. Diane Haughton was said to have contacted John Edward in an attempt to speak to Aaliyah's spirit in February 2003.

Rashad Haughton Edit

Her brother has said the pair were best friends. He enjoyed hearing her sing and wanted to protect her. Aaliyah brought him on stage with her when she accepted an award at the 2000 MTV VMA's. Rashad would later say that she made him come with her, despite his opinion that he was not necessary to be brought along. He was supportive of her relationship with Damon Dash because it was what she wanted.[1]

He was in Australia at the time of Aaliyah's death. After the crash, Rashad said the "Rock the Boat" music video was the only time Aaliyah had filmed something without being accompanied by someone in the family. He gave the eulogy at her funeral on August 31, 2001, during which he cried and did not hide his tears.

We are here today to celebrate the life and acknowledge the transition into peace of Aaliyah. In addition, we keep in our hearts the eight passengers who not only worked with her but loved her too. Keith Wallace, Eric Forman, Gina Smith, Luis Morales, Scott Gallin, Doug Kratz, Christopher Maldonado, and Anthony Dodd. As we live each day on this earth, we write a chapter in the book of our lives. It is a book filled with stories of happiness, laughter, adventure, danger, sadness, joy, pain, and love.
Every person that smiles at us as they pass us by on the street; each is important in creating the myriad of memories that make us who we are, I believe that time exists so that we may pinpoint each one of those memories in our book of life. When the time comes for our book to be finished, we can go back and re-experience any moment that we wish to for however long we desire. God has decided that Aaliyah's book is done, and now she can sit by his side and enjoy flipping through the pages of her life and finally learn the meaning of the mystery we are all still living here on earth. Aaliyah was my little sister, my best friend, my hero, my perfect love.
I knew all her little secrets and she knew all of mine. Whenever I was lost or felt there was no way out, she was there to take my hand and guide me through. What made her so special was that although she was a star, when you met her she made you feel like a star. Babygirl, I will see your smile in every sunrise and feel the warmth of your touch in its rays. I will remember how your tears cleansed my soul in every raindrop and your kiss like the wind on my face. When the birds sing I'll hear your angelic voice resonate through the sky. I'll look at the moon and stars and see the twinkle in your eye, I'll walk the earth knowing that you are everywhere. Looking down from heaven, waiting for your big brother to get there. Hold her for me God, Amen.

Rashad recorded a track dedicated to Aaliyah's memory titled, "One in a Billion". He has remained the standard bearer for correspondence with Aaliyah's family. Rashad was responsible for the debunking of the rumored posthumous album.

R. Kelly Edit

Initial meeting Edit

Aaliyah met R. Kelly at a young age. They were introduced to each other by Barry Hankerson.

Working together Edit

Aaliyah worked with R. Kelly on her debut album. Publicly calling her one of the most talented young artists he had ever worked with, R. Kelly and Aaliyah developed a friendship while working on the album. Aaliyah revealed that the pair spent time together when they were not working, typically to go see a film during a break from working on the album. This would be her only disclosure about the relationship before the marriage, after which Aaliyah would say the pair were only close and had their relationship interpreted the wrong way. hi 2020

Marriage Edit

Aaliyah and R. Kelly married on August 31, 1994, according to a marriage certificate obtained by Vibe magazine. There were rumors of a relationship between R. Kelly and Aaliyah and the marriage, if it happened, is an apparent verification of that. One of the theories is that Aaliyah developed feelings for R. Kelly and was taken by surprised when he arranged for the pair to marry in his homestate of Illinois. The marriage was annulled in February 1995.

R. Kelly denied being married to Aaliyah sometime after the marriage was apparently annulled. This was noted by biographer Christopher John Farley as being in present-tense, adding that it was not explaining if he meant that he had never been married and that he was only currently not. Aaliyah did the same for the most part, but denied ever being married, in a 1997 interview.

According to her biopic, the singer married R. Kelly without her parents' knowledge. When she and R. Kelly revealed the marriage to them, her father threatened to press statutory rape charges against R. Kelly if the marriage was not annulled. Aaliyah was devastated over the relationship being ended and even further when R. Kelly married Andrea Lee.[2]

Brandy Norwood Edit

According to Brandy, she met Aaliyah when she was around fifteen years old and the two were introduced to each other at a rehearsal for the Soul Train Awards. Brandy remembered being "so excited to meet her because she was the first girl on the scene", explaining that Aaliyah had came out before either Brandy or Monica debuted and she served as an inspiration for both of them. Brandy could recall an industry that did not believe in "kid acts" which only added to how special Aaliyah was at the time.

Brandy told Aaliyah how much she loved her and Aaliyah said the same thing in return, Brandy remembering it as "a great moment" she would never forget. The two performed at a radio event together. Brandy had to perform before her and saw Aaliyah in the stand where the artists were sitting, where she was "bobbing her head, really being supportive" of her. Brandy added, "It felt like [there] was no competition, or any of that. She was just very, very supportive. Then when she got on to perform, the entire place was singing her songs word for word, and so I was I. I was trying to sing louder than everybody else so she can hear that I knew her stuff and that I was being just as supportive as she was to me."

She recalled Aaliyah sending her flowers, congratulating her on her performance and saying how proud she was. At the time, the two were put agains each other by the media, a stark contrast to what Aaliyah had done. Brandy thought it was very big of Aaliyah to support her. Brandy would summarize her feelings of Aaliyah, "She will forever be an inspiration to me. I love her and want to send love and positive energy out to her family and fans that love her."

Timbaland Edit

Timbaland first met Aaliyah after she signed to Atlantic Records and began working on her second album. Timbaland developed a friendship with her that would last until her death. He was featured in the music video for "We Need a Resolution". Timbaland admitted in 2011 that he was in love with Aaliyah but would not act out on his feelings because of their age difference and because she was underage. Instead, he sought to act in a brotherly role towards her, but found it difficult to control his feelings for her.

Immediately after Aaliyah died, Timbaland said he lost half of his creativity to her. Timbaland said apart from her music, she was a brilliant person. Timbaland was against her television biopic in 2014 and held off on seeing the film. When he finally did see it, he was against it further and felt making a film about her without the consent of her family was disrespectful especially since the family had also lost Aaliyah's father Michael Haughton.

Missy Elliott Edit

Aaliyah met Missy Elliott after looking for collaborators for her sophomore album. Missy Elliott worried that she would be a diva, but was surprised by Aaliyah's personality, which was the opposite of her expectations. She was intimidated about meeting her as well since Aaliyah already was an established artist and she and Timbaland were starting out. Aaliyah made her along with Timbaland feel like family.

Missy Eliott has said she misses Aaliyah every day. She denied being involved in a posthumous Aaliyah album in August 2012 shortly after the release of "Enough Said".

Aside from Aaliyah, she also has a friendship with her brother Rashad and tweeted him during the premiere of her biopic to make sure he and Aaliyah's mother were alright.

DMX Edit

Aaliyah worked with DMX on the film Romeo Must Die. According to DMX, she personally approached him about appearing in the film. The two worked on the duet "Back in One Piece" and filmed it together. After Aaliyah's death, DMX had an emotional message written for her aired on television. He also appeared in the music video for "Miss You" where he spoke before the song played about Aaliyah.

DMX has been vocal in his disapproving of Drake using Aaliyah's unheard vocals to make a second posthumous album. DMX named one of his daughters after her as well.

Beyoncé Edit

Aaliyah met Beyoncé and the rest of Destiny's Child in 1998. Beyoncé would later say that she was the first person to support the group. Beyoncé interviewed Aaliyah on the red carpet of the 2000 MTV Movie Awards. Immediately following Aaliyah's death, Beyoncé would say that she had become a legend. Beyoncé has hailed Aaliyah as one of her main influences and has drawn comparison to her over her career. There has been debate that Aaliyah would have become as successful as Beyonce has since her passing. In January 2014, Beyoncé posted on Instagram the photograph taken of Aaliyah with her and the rest of Destiny's Child in honor of what would have been Aaliyah's thirty-fifth birthday. The picture generated some controversy because Kelly Rowland had been cropped out.

Jay-Z Edit

Jay-Z was rumored to have dated Aaliyah, which she denied in an interview. The pair were photographed together several times and Jay-Z would say that he felt her death was a precursor to the September 11 attacks that occurred the month after she died on September 11, 2001. He made a remix to her song "Miss You", where he spoke to her and gave sentiments towards her. He also called Aaliyah "our little angel".

Damon Dash Edit

First meeting and relationship Edit

Aaliyah met Damon Dash over the summer of 2000 through a mutual friend (Natane). Dash could not explain how the pair began dating, but remembered their connection coming through a shared understanding of everything and her finding him humorous.

Aaliyah and Damon Dash

Aaliyah and Damon Dash.

Dash also spoke of Aaliyah's intelligence in 2011 which drew him to her. "She was intelligent and she caught me," Dash recalled. "I'm the kind of guy who says things sometimes just to make myself laugh, but she would just catch me making jokes for me. I couldn't get anything past her. She had a very quick mind and a very kind heart."[3]

The relationship was hampered by Aaliyah and Dash's independent careers. "She was always working and shooting movies. She was always gone for like four months at a time, then 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." Dash remembered.[3]

Aaliyah held a party in May 2001 for his thirtieth birthday. He was seen escorting her to the bathroom and this sparked some speculation the pair were romantically involved. In an interview speaking about this particular instance, Aaliyah denied the pair having a relationship that was anything but platonic. Dash remembered Aaliyah as being the only person that could hangout with his "homeboys" on their level. He added, "It was like being able to be with your homeboy and your girl at the same time. … We just generally had a lot of fun together.”[4]

Dash has spoken positively of her and still holds her in high regard. “She was the best person I ever knew. … I never met a person like her in my life,” Dash said. “Every day that we were together, we cherished. Every memory — every day was a special event, whether it was going to a store or going to a movie or just sitting in a house. Wherever we were was like our own little party, in our own little world.”[4]

Dash has said that the next time the couple were able to get together they would have married. "Our time together meant so much that when we got more time, we felt like that [engagement] would be next," Dash claimed. "She was one of the best people I ever met. Even with the pain I felt, I would do it all over again."[3]

After her death Edit

Aaliyah's death in August 2001 was said to have made Dash become depressed. He spoke about his depression over her loss in an interview where he said that a person apologizing for what had happened to her would ruin his day.

Aaliyah with Dash family

Aaliyah with Dash family.

He has remained vocal about his love for Aaliyah. On August 25, 2014, Dash posted a series of images of Aaliyah on the thirteenth anniversary of her death and an image of her with his family, who he remembered as liking her because she watched cartoons and played video games like the children did. He also posted a picture of the two together and left a message directed towards her; "You will always be with me and I feel you protect me every day...I know I'm the coolest because your the one that told I was... I miss my best friend every day not just today I love you".

On November 10, 2014, Dash posted a picture he had taken of a billboard for Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B and commented on how it made him feel. "I'm not gonna lie this is starting to bug me out a a good way of course... It seems like lately every time I need an answer I look up and this is what I see it's crazy cause our conversations were like that... Regardless I'm a lucky guy".

References Edit

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