Erykah Badu Celebrated Aaliyah’s Birthday By Sharing When the Princess of R&B Showed Her Love In the 1990s

Aaliyah and Erykah Badu were two of the ’90s’ most beloved new singers to emerge on the music scene. Aaliyah was quickly dubbed the Princess of R&B, while Badu became the Queen of Neo-Soul. Both artists had an intense appreciation for each other, and Badu’s love of Aaliyah remains strong to this day.

Aaliyah
Aaliyah | Sal Idriss/Redferns

Aaliyah loved Erykah Badu in the ’90s

Aaliyah first debuted on the music scene in 1994 with her album Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number, written and produced by R. Kelly. The two famously got married behind Aaliyah’s parents’ backs when she was just a teenager. After that, Aaliyah began working with the likes of Timbaland and Missy Elliott on her sophomore album One in a Million and her self-titled final album.

Aaliyah released her sophomore album One in a Million in 1996. The following year, Texas-bred singer Erykah Badu released her debut album Baduizm. The LP contained now-iconic tracks such as “On & On” and “Tyrone,” and Badu quickly became a hot new name in the industry.

Badu’s music was generally more soulful than Aaliyah’s, who pushed R&B further into the mainstream. Still, both artists had a respect for one another.

Erykah Badu on the red carpet
Erykah Badu | Samir Hussein /WireImage

Aaliyah’s favorite Erykah Badu song

Although Aaliyah was younger than Badu and debuted in the industry three years before her, she still knew that Badu was an iconic artist even in the early days of her career. In 2000, Aaliyah appeared on the French TV series Rush Divertissement and shared some of her favorite songs with viewers. One of them was Badu’s “Tyrone” — specifically, the live version of the song from her Platinum 1997 live album.

“I just like this song. Everybody fell in love with this song when it first came out,” the young singer said. “This was off her first album, which was absolutely amazing… I absolutely loved it. She’s a great performer and a different artist and I respect her for that.”

In January 2022, Badu shared a clip from that interview on her Instagram and paid tribute to the gone-too-soon singer on what would have been her 43rd birthday. “That’s love,” she said. “#HBD.”

Erykah Badu continues to make hits today

Badu released her second album Mama’s Gun in 2000, while Aaliyah was still alive. It spawned three singles: the groovy “Bag Lady,” which became her first top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 6, “Didn’t Cha Know?”, and “Cleva.” The album was certified Platinum by the RIAA with over one million copies sold.

After Aaliyah’s death, Badu went on to cement her status as a music icon and prove that she deserved the crown of being the Queen of Neo Soul. Her third album Worldwide Underground contained her second top 10 hit on the Hot 100: “Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop),” which peaked at No. 9. A few years later, she released the albums New Amerykah Part One and New Amerykah Part Two, the latter of which contained the controversial single “Window Seat.”

While Badu hasn’t released a project since her 2015 mixtape But You Caint Use My Phone, she’ll be on tour in 2022 on the “Live From Badubotron” tour.

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