Aaliyah Aaliyah

5 Things We Wish The BET Aaliyah Special Would Have Covered

Ten years after the tragic death of one of R&B's most beloved figures, Aaliyah Dana Haughton, BET attempted to celebrate her memory with Aaliyah: One in A Million, an hour-long tribute to the fallen star. The network promoted the special with the promise of rare photos, exclusive interviews with loved ones and never-before-seen video footage. Though we're familiar with their history of missing the mark (the 2011 BET Awards being the most recent example), we were hopeful and even appreciative of their efforts, as they were the only network honoring the star with such an extensive program. Needless to say, they fell short. Damon Dash's and Timbaland's interviews notwithstanding, the special seemed lazy and rushed.

Here are 5 things we wish it would have covered:

- An Actual Performance...or Two
I don't know about you, but when I think of a tribute, I think of people honoring an icon using the vehicle that said artist loved the most: art. The interviews were revealing and touching at times but as that's all the tribute offered (save her music videos that we've all seen and minimal rare footage of Aaliyah), that's not enough. A dance tribute with Fatima at the helm is something we could have cherished, enjoyed and (after learning every step) emulated. More so, it would have helped stir up in our hearts the feeling Aaliyah gave us when she was alive; the magic and joy we all felt each time we watched her dance.

-Less Videos
The special undoubtedly was compromised by the significant number of videos BET aired, which came off as a time filler. Don't get me wrong; we love every clip from Are You That Somebody? (which we all danced to) to Rock The Boat (which they did at least offer some behind-the-scenes footage for). But we've seen those videos. We've been watching them for 10 years. And every blogger/Facebook user/TV network worth their salt aired her videos throughout the day. What we would have loved to see, is simply, something we haven't seen before. More interviews with those closest to her and those who loved her. More behind-the-scenes footage and rare interviews of Aaliyah just being her charming self. More stories about what she was like before we came to know her: the adorable Detroit girl with an angelic voice and a dream.

-A Tribute to Her Style
The tribute took us on a timeline through Aaliyah's music and film career and left us pondering what could have been. But not nearly enough time was dedicated to what has endured about Aaliyah in addition to her songs and movies: her style. Aaliyah's look was groundbreaking. She wore baggy jeans, belly shirts, eye patches and caps and gave them an irresistible, feminine appeal. She was as sexy in a dress as she was in a jersey because she wore each look with confidence. At a time when it was unheard of, and R&B/hip hop was still very much off mainstream radar, she was tapped to be the face of Tommy Hilfiger. That's huge. And her swoop. It was the "Rihanna cut" before there was one. There were few girls in the 90s who didn't try to recreate Aaliyah's sexy, mysterious look. With her style, she taught us to defy gender convention and to find a signature look all our own. And that's not worth more than a mention, BET?

- Her Family and Fans
Though her cousin, who was also her manager, was featured, his recollection of Aaliyah's story came from a business perspective---which is great, except for the fact that our connection to Aaliyah is very emotional. She struck a chord in us with her sense of individuality, her quiet confidence and mystery, her sweet spirit and extraordinary talent. We're fully aware of the story of how she was signed, etc. What about how she made people feel? How loving and silly and kind she was when you were around her? Her family could've captured this had they been made more of a focus. Her mother was completely absent. Her brother, who was also her best friend, wasn't featured enough. As we've seen in documentaries on Tupac and Biggie, it's the mothers that humanized their larger-than-life sons and tugged at our heartstrings in the process. This was a huge oversight on BET's part.

Likewise, It's great to see the people that worked with Aaliyah but she always made a point to say how much she loved her fans---and 10 years later, it's clear that we still love her. A montage of people recounting the first time they saw Aaliyah perform or why they'll always miss her would have been compelling and memorable.

- Her Influence
As I mentioned, BET attempted to wrap the tribute up in a pretty bow with talk about Aaliyah's immediate plans for the future: the Matrix movie, the Grammys performance and more dreams that she spoke of but sadly, did not live to fulfill. The mood was somber as it encouraged viewers to mourn the loss of potential. Had I been in the BET planning meetings, I would have argued that we should end the tribute on the note that Aaliyah's legacy is visible today; her presence and impact is very much felt in the myriad of singers from Beyonce to Ciara to Ashanti who were clearly influenced by her. I would love to hear from those contemporary artists about how Aaliyah inspired them---as well as from artists like J.Cole and Drake who keep her name alive in their rhymes 'till this day. What is it about Aaliyah that ten years later elements of her style, sound and dance routines still impact today's music? That part of her legacy did not receive the attention it deserves.

In closing, while BET's intentions were good and they did try, in the words of our late great Aaliyah, "dust yourself off and try again."

What do YOU think?

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Kelly Rowland Says Her Highly-Anticipated Project Is "Definitely Coming"

Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

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Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.

 

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👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

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Trina Braxton’s Ex-Husband, Gabe Solis, Dies After Battle With Cancer

Gabe Solis, the ex-husband of Trina Braxton, lost his battle with cancer, Thursday (Dec. 20),  TMZ reports. He was 43.

Solis passed away at his home in Texas, surrounded by friends and family, according to the outlet. No official details have been released about his passing.

Solis had reportedly been keeping his cancer battle private. His death came as a shock to his loved ones. On Friday (Dec. 21), Braxton seemingly mourned the loss of her ex-husband with a cryptic Instagram meme reading, “I need a hug..E bottle of wine.”

The former couple tied the knot in 2003, and appeared together on previous seasons of WEtv’s Braxton Family Values. Despite finalizing their divorce in 2015, Braxton and Solis confronted lingering issues from their marriage during an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, earlier in the year.

Braxton has since moved on to a new relationship, but remained friends with Solis.

 

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A post shared by Trina Braxton (@trinabraxton1) on Dec 21, 2018 at 9:49am PST

READ MORE: Phaedra Parks To Join 'Braxton Family Values' Cast

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