August 25th, 2021 will mark 20 years since R&B singer Aaliyah and 8 others tragically passed in a plane crash. The 2 decades since her passing, fans have managed to maintain her legacy as a talented performer, budding actress and all around good person beloved by just about everyone around her. Unfortunately, as R. Kelly’s career began to finally crumble under the pressure of years of allegations, somewhat did Aaliyah’s legacy, as people have begun to revisit the stars trajectory and the many unknown details of her life including her marriage to Kelly while she was still underage. An upcoming book is looking to shed more light on her mysterious personal life, and reveal another relationship with a close collaborator.
Born January 16, 1979, Aaliyah was prepped for stardom at an early age and throughout her teens by various powerful men. First was her uncle Barry Hankerson, an entertainment lawyer who was married to legendary singer Gladys Knight. Hankerson groomed Aaliyah and took her out on tour with Gladys before signing her at the age of 12.
The next major man to step into Aaliyah’s life was R.Kelly. The then 27 year old R&B star quickly became her mentor as well as lead songwriter and producer of her first album, which was recorded when she was 14.
Kelly and Aaliyah’s relationship would eventually veer into the inappropriate when they got married on August 31, 1994 at the Sheraton Gateway Suites in Rosemont, Illinois; when she was only 15. They reportedly faked her age on the certificate to say she was 18. The illegal marriage was annulled in February 1995 by her parents, who have been heavily criticized in the years since for failing their young daughter.
The next man to step into Aaliyah’s life musically was Virginia producer Timbaland. Timbaland has also gotten some flack in recent years for admitting to be in love with the singer as well. He even admitted to marrying his wife because she “looked” like Aaliyah. he was 24 and Aaliyah was only 16.
“When I first met Aaliyah—it’s time for the world to hear this, I’m gonna give a little secret—I was in love with her,” Timbaland said. “I said, ‘She [is] just a baby, I’m old. I’m just gonna be her brother. Oh man, I was fightin’, I was fightin’ a lot—a big war. But I loved Aaliyah.”
Despite his feelings for her, he never crossed the line to anyones knowledge. According to author Kathy Iandoli, that distinction goes to singer/songwriter Static Major. The two collaborated on some of Aaliyah’s biggest hits including “More than a Woman,” “We Need a Resolution,” “Rock the Boat”, and “Are You That Somebody”, which was reportedly written about their romance.
Static’s mother reportedly confirmed their relationship, stating that they dating between 1997 and 1998. Static was 5 years her senior. He too passed away on February 25, 2008 from complications of a medical procedure. The book, titled Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah, is slated to hit shelves on August 17.