Aaliyah Houghton died in 2001 from a plane crash. The “One In A Million” singer was 22 and on the verge of a stellar music and film career. She also left behind several friends in the entertainment industry, including rapper DMX. Throughout the years, the “X Gone Give It to Ya” performer spoke about their friendship. 

DMX died on April 9, 2021, at 50. When he died, Aaliyah’s mother paid tribute to her daughter’s friend and former co-star. 

DMX and Aaliyah collaborated on music and films in the 1990s

Born Earl Simmons, DMX grew up in Yonkers, New York. During the early 1990s, he found a love for rap music and gained a following around his hometown. In 1998, DMX, also known as “Dark Man X,” released his first album Get at Me Dog, with Def Jam. He then debuted two more projects in the late 1990s- Flesh of My Flesh, followed by And Then There Was X. On his third album, DMX published his first massive song, “Party Up (Up In Here).” 

At the height of DMX’s success, Aaliyah had already released her second album, One In A Million. She worked with Missy Elliott and Timbaland on the project, which sold millions of copies within its first few weeks. In 2000, Aaliyah delved into acting with the movie Romeo Must Die. The singer starred in the film alongside Jet Li. DMX also booked the project, which he said only happened because of Aaliyah, per Billboard. 

After shooting Romeo Must Die, DMX and Aaliyah remained close friends. The artists collaborated on a song together in 1999 called “Come Back in One Piece.” They also shot the music video to their single in DMX’s hometown. 

Diane Houghton said DMX and Aaliyah will ‘meet again’

On April 2, 2021, DMX had a heart attack at his home in New York. Since his career began, the “Where the Hood At” artist was transparent about his drug addiction. One week after he went to the hospital, DMX died in the hospital. 

Following the official release of his death, many celebrities, including Gabrielle Union, LeBron James, and Eve honored DMX. While several of his friends and former colleagues remembered DMX, Aaliyah’s mom, Diane Houghton, released a statement about the artists’ friendship via Instagram. 

“Earl you had and still have a heart of gold,” she wrote. “You and Baby Girl will meet again with all the beautiful people we have lost. Will never forget your kindness. NEVER! Blessing to your family! Eternally! — Aaliyah’s Mom.”

Why the rapper’s family described him as a ‘warrior’

The tribute to DMX from Aaliyah’s mom came after the rapper’s family released an official statement confirming that he died. According to HollywoodLife, the Cradle 2 the Grave star leaves behind 15 children from several different relationships and a fiancee. 

In April 2021, his family said DMX was a “warrior” in their official statement. 

“Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end,” the family said. “He loved his family with all of his heart, and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world, and his iconic legacy will live on forever.

“We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time,” the statement continued. “Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle, and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.” 

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