Nearly 13 years after her tragic death, Aaliyah remains a respected and celebrated influence for dancers, singers and entertainers worldwide.
Aaliyah catapulted to superstardom on a string of 1990s R&B hits like "4 Page Letter" and "Are You That Somebody." But as her career began to blossom toward the end of the decade, she quickly proved her talents were greater than the delivery of smooth, fluid vocals or hard-hitting eight counts. Acing her roles in films like "Romeo Must Die" and "Queen Of The Damned," she seemed to have endless possibilities for her career.
Sadly, she passed away in a plane crash in the Bahamas on Aug. 25, 2001, before we could witness her full evolution as an artist. But the songstress lives on in the social media feeds, iTunes playlists and hearts of fans devoted to remembering her unique contributions to music, fashion and pop culture. In honor of her birthday Thursday, we've gathered 15 of Aaliyah's best quotes about music, self-love and the importance of following your dreams.
1. "I stay true to myself and my style, and I am always pushing myself to be aware of that and be original."
2. "You have to love what you do to want to do it every day."
3. "All I can do is leave it in God's hands and hope that my fans feel where I'm coming from."
4. "I don't want to abandon one work for the other, and I don't think I need to sacrifice anything to put my all into either one of them."
5. "I want people to remember me as a full on entertainer and a good person."
6. "I'm the interpreter. I'm the one who takes your words and brings them to life. I was trained to sing and dance and laugh, and that's what I want to do."
7. “Always be true to yourself."
8. “It hurt but you pick yourself up and move on like nothing happened" - In reference to losing during her appearance on "Star Search" as a child
9. “If I don't think about it, it won't drive me crazy.”
10. “Well, I think that the image is a part of me. I wear the baggy pants, the hats, the whole nine. And you know, I may add a little for the excitement and the intrigue in the videos, but my family has told me that little air of mystery that surrounds me is for real.”
11. "I see myself as sexy. If you are comfortable with it, it can be very classy and appealing."
12."I don't feel I made any sacrifices at all. I'm doing my best to juggle."
13. “I think it's important to take a break, you know, from the public eye for a while, and give people a chance to miss you. I want longevity. I don't want to get out there and run myself ragged and spread myself thin.”
14. "There is a bit of acting involved when you get in front of a camera for a video. Even when you perform onstage, you're putting on a show."
15. "Keep working hard and you can get anything that you want."