Why DMX Named One of His Kids After Aaliyah

Aaliyah and DMX were two of the biggest stars in the 1990s and early 2000s. The celebrities became friends within the entertainment industry and collaborated on a song together in 2000. When Aaliyah died in 2001, Dark Man X paid homage to her many years later. 

A side-by-side photo of DMX and Aaliyah
DMX and Aaliyah|Mark Davis/Getty Images for Coachella, Evan Agostini/ImageDirect

DMX and Aaliyah became close during ‘Romeo Must Die’ 

Both DMX and Aaliyah used their talents across multiple genres. The entertainers had a knack for acting, which they discovered after their careers took off. In 1998, DMX, whose real name was Earl Simmons, landed his first feature film. The “X Gone Give It to Ya” rapper played Tommy “Buns” Bundy in the movie Belly with Nas and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins. 

Jet Li and Aaliyah filming a scene from 'Romeo Must Die'
Jet Li and Aaliyah in a scene from ‘Romeo Must Die’|Kharen Hill 2000 Warner Bros.

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Two years after Belly premiered, Aaliyah booked her first starring role in Romeo Must Die. The “One In A Million” singer played Jet Li’s love interest in the film. DMX also appeared in the movie as Silk, a nightclub owner trying to change his life around. The rapper said in 2011 that Aaliyah was the reason he appeared in Belly. Following the film’s release, the pair collaborated again on a Romeo Must Die soundtrack song. For their music video, “Come Back in One Piece,” DMX and Aaliyah traveled to his hometown Yonkers, New York, per Billboard

“She had a presence on TV that was incredible,” DMX said of Aaliyah. “It was sexy but kind of gangster.”

“We did the video in Mount Vernon and Yonkers,” the ‘Who We Be’ rapper continued. “I got to bring Aaliyah to the hood. Not many people can say that.”

The reason DMX named his daughter after Aaliyah

Aaliyah’s career continued to soar after Romeo Must Die. After filming for the movie ended, she booked another role in Queen of the Damned. Additionally, the singer started working on her third studio album, Aaliyah. While shooting a music video in the Bahamas for the project, Aaliyah died in a plane crash. The Grammy-nominated artist was 22. 

DMX performing with his daughter Aaliyah
DMX with daughter Aaliyah|Vallery Jean/FilmMagic

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After Aaliyah died, DMX remembered his friend in the music video for her song “I Miss You.” The rapper expressed how heartbroken he was by the loss. 

“Dearest, sweet Aaliyah,” DMX said. “I have trouble accepting the fact that you are gone… so I won’t. It will be like we went for a while without seeing each other.”

In 2011, DMX decided to honor Aaliyah through his kids. The “Where the Hood At” rapper announced that he named his daughter after the “Rock the Boat” performer. 

“This is Aaliyah,” he said during an interview with BET’s 106 & Park, introducing his daughter to the audience. “It’s my newest baby, and I named her after Aaliyah because that’s how special she was to me.”

Dark Man X had 15 kids

Although DMX named his daughter after Aaliyah, the rapper had multiple children from different relationships. During the Cradle 2 the Grave actor’s marriage to Tashera Simmons, the pair welcomed four children. However, DMX fathered several more children throughout his life, including a son with his fiancee, Desiree Lindstrom. Before he died of a heart attack, the Grammy nominee had 15 children