August 25 marked the 21st anniversary of day Aaliyah died in a plane crash at age 22. Before launching his solo career, Tank sang background for the Romeo Must Die star, and remembers her performances were unique.
“Aaliyah had a very elaborate show. She had magician tricks, she would appear out of nowhere,” Tank recalled during an August appearance at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.
He was in awe of Aaliyah’s special effects and also her resiliency when she faced technical problems.
“She had a chair that would come up. Some nights, some of that stuff would break down and not work. She was supposed to climb out of the chair, some nights she had to climb out of the box,” the singer remembered.
“She would be sad and hurt after the fact, but during the show you wouldn’t know it,” Tank said. “She’d get right to it, the show must go on.”
Tank, born Durrell Babbs, began his career in 1996 as a background singer for Ginuwine, who introduced him to Aaliyah. Tank said he was very proud to sing with two of the top R&B stars of the ‘90s and wear security passes symbolizing his association with them.
“Do you know the power of those two laminates on your chest?” Tank asked as he praised Aaliyah and Ginuwine for paving the way for his solo career.
“Not just telling me things,” he said, “but showing me things.”
In addition to singing on tour with Aaliyah, Tank also recorded with the three-time American Music Award winner. He’s featured on “Come Over,” which appeared on the 2002 posthumous compilation album, I Care 4 U. “Come Over” was released as the album’s fourth and final single on April 29, 2003.
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