The late singer Aaliyah was a talent destined for greatness. With mega-producer Timbaland behind her, in the short time that the two made music, they had a massive impact on the sound of R’n’B going into the turn of the millennium. Aaliyah was the predecessor to Beyoncé and was one of the most prominent solo R’n’B singers of the late 1990s, along with the likes of Mary J Blige and Mariah Carey.
During the late-’90s and early 2000s, celebrity couples were popping up left, right and centre. From Nas and Kelis to Jay-Z and Beyoncé, a multitude of celebrity relationships were beginning to form. Among them were Aaliyah and Damon Dash. A surprising yet beloved couple in the early 2000s, the two pop-culture icons seemed to be genuinely in love. However, not many individuals know how their short but sweet relationship began.
In 2001, when it got announced that Dash and the singer were in a relationship, the former Victoria’s Secret model, Natane Adcock, partook in an interview with Vibe magazine. In the article, Adcock revealed that she was responsible for introducing Aaliyah to Dash in July of 2000. In the publication, she explained that she and the ‘Try Again’ singer had been friends for years and was also close with Dash.
Adcock was tight-lipped concerning the event at which she had first got the duo acquainted with each other. However, Aaliyah, Dash, Jay-Z and Adcock were all photographed at Diddy’s independence day party on July 2nd, 2000. British newspaper, The Daily Mail, also got some paparazzi snaps in which the Roc-A-Fella mogul and R’n’B star can be seen getting close. In a later interview with The New York magazine, Dash verified that Adcock set them up and called it the “coolest thing” she had ever done for him.
Speaking on his adoration of Aaliyah, the music executive admitted, “That was my first really true love. [Adcock] actually secured the fact that I was able to be with the coolest girl that ever graced the planet. She used to make sure that when I came in the club that I was surrounded by the best people, all beautiful women.”
Aaliyah’s relationship with Damon Dash truly blossomed after their initial introduction. Over the years, friends and acquaintances of the pair have all unanimously insisted that Aaliyah and Dash were inseparable and at each other’s sides at all times. Initially, their love for one another was highly low-key, as the two celebrities wanted their relationship without constant intrusion from the press. However, little did Dash know that their love story would be very brief.
Shortly after the pair made it official, in 2001 the singer (real name Aaliyah Haughton) flew in a Cessna 202 to the Bahamas to record a music video for her single ‘Rock The Boat’. However, the artist attempted to take a flight back to the US in a smaller Cessna 404, with her luggage exceeding the plane’s weight limit. Struggling to handle the load, the 404 crashed and caught fire after only ascending 200ft into the air.
Ever since her passing, Dash has only ever said positive things about Haughton. Speaking with Page Six in 2019, the record producer divulged, “She was just cool as hell … we would laugh … we never stopped hanging and that is what happened with her. There was never any obligation or any title … just liking being around somebody for who they are. I was not in love with Aaliyah through the television. I fell in love with her from hanging out and meeting her. She looked different than Aaliyah on the TV screen.” Below you can watch an interview with Dash in which he talks about the singer’s unfortunate death.