It’s difficult to believe Aaliyah was only 22 years old when she died in a tragic plane crash in 2001.
The gifted R&B singer accomplished so much within her short life, and her contributions to music continue to inspire and influence to this day.
Now Aaliyah’s extraordinary life and career have been commemorated with a brand new wax figure at Madame Tussauds, Las Vegas.
The waxwork was unveiled during a star-studded ceremony on Wednesday, August 21; an event attended by family members, friends and celebrity guests.
In the past, waxworks of beloved musical legends have proved to be a mixed bag; with some unrecognisable and even alarming results
However, this waxwork is a beautiful tribute to the ‘Princess of R&B’, capturing her electric stage presence and iconic style choices.
The wax figure draws from the music video from her 2000 hit Try Again, complete with that much-imitated leather trousers and metallic bra pairing. It’s the look many associate with Aaliyah and is as striking today as it was nearly two decades ago.
Studios Manager at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, Adam Morey, told Vibe:
This set, rather than being a recreation of any one particular Aaliyah moment, was instead designed with a message to her fans in mind.
It’s a message that hopefully reflects her everlasting legacy.
It was clear right away it would be the Try Again look for our Aaliyah figure.
The look 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.
Discussions for the Aaliyah waxwork reportedly began over a year and a half ago, with Aaliyah’s brother Rashad Haughton involved throughout the creative process.
In a statement to Vibe about the work which went into perfecting his sister’s waxwork, Rashad said:
I was involved in the process from the inception of the project.
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.
One thing we made sure to include was all of my sister’s tattoos.
They are all quite hidden because my sister chose strategic places for them due to her on-camera film work. We know how devout and knowledgeable her fans are and the great artists at Madame Tussauds have no limitations to their abilities when it comes to detail.
Live Stream of the unveiling of Aaliyah’s wax figure at Madame
Tussauds Vegas via the @AaliyahApp instagram starting at 6pm PST
tonight! #Aaliyah #madametussauds #tussaudsvegas pic.twitter.com/IXKe75y5bB
— Aaliyah (@AaliyahHaughton) August 21, 2019
Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born in Brooklyn, New York on January 16, 1979. During her 22 years, Aaliyah achieved phenomenal success as a singer, with her best known track, Try Again, nominated for a Grammy shortly before her death.
She also earned considerable success as an actor, starring in movies such as Romeo Must Die and The Queen Of The Damned.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.