Song: “Try Again” by Aaliyah
Reached #1: June 17, 2000 (her first, 1 week)
“Try Again” was one of the first songs to benefit from Billboard’s decision to rework its Hot 100 formula to emphasize radio airplay – in fact, it was the first #1 that made it to the top on the strength of radio spins rather than single sales. The song appeared on the soundtrack for Romeo Must Die, Aaliyah’s first movie. It was released as a single two months after hitting the Hot 100.
It seemed to be the first of what was going to be a long string of #1 pop hits. She had started recording at age 12, had a double-platinum album in high school, had performed in several movies, and seemed to be moving into position for a huge career.
Then she and her team made the decision to wrap production early on the “Rock The Boat” video and get back to the USA from the Bahamas a day early in August 2001.
They chartered a plane locally, instead of waiting for the plane that they’d flown to the Bahamas to come back.
The plane was smaller. The pilot was inexperienced – it was his first day with the charter company, in fact. He’d lied about his background to get a license. He didn’t know how to distribute that much weight (people and equipment) around the airplane. He certainly didn’t know enough to tell the group that they couldn’t all fit safely in the plane. Worse, he may have been hung over and/or high when the plane took off. It turned out to be the last sequence of mistakes he ever made, as the plane barely got off the ground before crashing.
And so we’ll never know what Aaliyah might have done.
She was just 22.
Tomorrow, a classic British-American band that redefined creative feuding…
Other songs that reached #1 on June 17:
1978 – “Shadow Dancing” by Andy Gibb (his third, 7 weeks)
1989 – “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” by New Kids On The Block (their first, 1 week)
2006 – “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean (her first, 2 weeks)