.

Artists Mourn Aaliyah

Nelly, Monica, Ja Rule and others remember R&B star

August 29, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Near the end of Ludacris' set at Saturday night's Powerhouse concert in Anaheim, California, someone came onstage and whispered in his ear. The rapper then addressed the crowd: "Hold up. This is serious. We just found out R&B singer Aalyiah was killed in a plane crash." He then asked for a moment of silence from the stunned crowd. People turned and looked at each other in disbelief, thinking maybe they'd heard wrong.

A trip backstage after his set confirmed the sad news: The twenty-two-year-old singer/actress and eight others had been killed as a plane carrying them crashed and burst into flames shortly after leaving the Bahamas for Miami. At a show that should've been a party -- with Ja Rule, Shaggy, Afroman, Nelly, Xzibit, OutKast and many more performing -- the mood backstage at the R&B/hip-hop fest was anything but celebratory.

"For someone so talented, it's sad to think they're not going to contribute anymore to music or film," said Nelly, who was performing as part of the hip-hop crew the St. Lunatics. "We've only been in the entertainment industry for a year and a half, but we've had definitely had the pleasure of meeting her. Our hearts go out to her family."

"We've been friends since '96," said fellow R&B singer Monica. "She was an easy person to like. I want her family to know we're here for her as artists, but this is bigger than the music industry. She was very talented, but more than that, she was a good person."

Anthony Anderson, who appeared with Aaliyah in last year's film, Romeo Must Die, was also backstage. "She was a great friend and a great person," he said. "I think we're all at a loss that she's no longer with us."

Ja Rule, who faced the difficult task of taking the stage after Ludacris' announcement, said it was something that was with him as he performed. "It's numbing. I got the news before I went on and I didn't want to believe it, but I guess if you're saying it, it must be true. It was definitely in the back of my mind as I was out there though. I loved baby girl. She was a sweet person."

Rapper Ras Kass, who had appeared with Xzibit, said, "To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure if it was true or not, so I prayed that it wasn't. I send love out to her family."

The normally affable, accommodating Shaggy appeared especially distraught as he walked by the backstage area. "To be honest, I've never seen him this bummed," say his label representative. "I don't know if he'll be able to talk about it."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com