To me, she was my little sister, my musical inspiration ...
The joyous, free-spirited atmosphere of the Video Music Awards was momentarily put on hold by a touching tribute to 22-year-old singer Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash August 25.
Janet Jackson, in a pink hat and modest black dress, opened the memorial by recounting Aaliyah's sentiment when her grandmother passed away: "One day we will be together again." She then read a letter from K, 19, of Decatur, Georgia, which was sent to (see "Fans Remember Aaliyah").
I think I speak for all of us standing here when I say she was definitely one in a million," Ginuwine said, referencing the title of the singer's second album, 1996's One in a Million.
Timbaland added, "Aaliyah was a temple of excitement, joy and peace.
He added pop acts like Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake to his client list before later styling himself as a solo star in his own right, bragging about the $500,000 (£377,500) price tags he attached to his beats. Post-, Aaliyah and Tim pulled their sound into even stranger places.
Tracks like "Are You That Somebody", "Try Again", "We Need A Resolution" and "More Than A Woman" saw the singer skew herself into an alternate pop timeline.
Internationally, it was released as part of a double A-side with his collaboration with P. The single reached number 4 in the UK Singles Chart.
"U Don't Have to Call" eventually won Usher his second consecutive Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 2003.
After saying that people should appreciate each other, she apologized for not being more prepared.