As the 18th anniversary of her death approaches, Aaliyah is being memorialized with a wax figure at Madame Tussauds. The late singer’s brother Rashad Haughton was on hand Wednesday as the likeness was unveiled in Las Vegas.
Clad in leather pants and metallic bra, the figure is a nod to Aaliyah’s iconic “Try Again” music video from 2000.
In an interview with Vibe, Haughton revealed that he played a major role in the figure’s creation and design.
“I was involved in the process from the inception of the project,” he told the outlet. “The team at Madame Tussauds welcomed a collaborative effort in choosing the pose and look of my sister’s figure. They made sure my mother and I were comfortable and supported through an amazing but understandably emotional process.”
According to Madame Tussauds Las Vegas studio manager Adam Morey, the decision to pick her “Try Again” look was an easy one. He tells Vibe that it has “the sexy, edgy, timeless vibe we try to imbue in the Las Vegas attraction within all our creative choices. Mining popular culture as only Madame Tussauds can, our desire to honor Aaliyah and the look in this way was only confirmed as we see today’s Hollywood stars like Keke Palmer, Kim Kardashian, Zendaya, also paying homage by recreating their own favorite moments of the Princess of R&B.”
Haughton released a poem dedicated to his late sister on what would have been her 40th birthday back in January.
“The many were once as one/By way of mind and tongue/ Hands intertwined/Reached out for heaven/Atop a thing that was built.”
“When it fell upon itself/The words descended/Upon cold earth and became brittle, colorless and crumbled beneath our feet.”
“Now, a cypher of memories/ Unlock a chamber; Not of brick and mortar/But of glass and copper — Smooth and colt to touch.”
“Hallow voices ripple upstream/Yearning to rejoin the sea cry/ Universe, sacred womb/A truth revealed/Is a song set free/Gentle whisper of wind/Sow these seeds for me.”
Aaliyah died at the age of 22 on Aug. 25, 2001. The New York-born songstress — along with seven others — were killed when a small, twin-engine Cessna bound for Miami crashed into a swamp shortly after takeoff in the Bahamas.
Aaliyah had gone to the destination to shoot her music video for “Rock the Boat,” a track off of her self-titled third album, her final LP released during her lifetime.
The clip was nominated for best R&B video at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards.
Aaliyah’s first album, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, was released when she was 15, and by the age of 18 she had two hit records to her credit.
She released her second album One in a Million in 1996. It was certified double platinum on June 16, 1997.
Her final album Aaliyah sold over 2.4 million copies worldwide and scored a Grammy nomination for best R&B album in 2002.