Time to move on

Everyone wants to be remembered for notable accomplishments, and everyone wants to leave a legacy. When an entertainer passes away, it’s nice that we as fans will always be able to remember them by his or her art.

Last Thursday, VH1 aired an updated version of the late singer Aaliyah’s “Behind the Music” special. The television special featured appearances and interviews with family and friends such as Missy Elliot and Nelson George.

According to Vibe.com, “the hour-long episode featured never-before-seen footage of Baby Girl and addressed how her career could have evolved if not for her untimely death.”

Admittedly, I used to be and still am a big Aaliyah fan. However, as touching and nostalgic as it all was, the special felt somewhat overdone and unnecessary.

Aaliyah died in an airplane crash in the Bahamas in August of 2001. It’s been 10 years, so why would VH1 air a revamped biography after so long?

For some people, Aaliyah was probably what some of my favorite pop stars are to me — everything.

Celebrities mean so much to people and a death like Aaliyah’s in 2001 was probably an emotionally traumatizing experience to go through.

Yahoo! Voices contributor Kristy Johnson explains this infatuation in simple terms.

“It's almost like watching a drama show unfold in real life. You don't have to feel the pain personally, but you get to see what they're going through,” Johnson wrote.

This isn’t only true for Aaliyah fans — celebrity deaths are a regular fixation or fascination for superfans everywhere.

The validity of the Biggie and Tupac shootings is debated even today. People revisit and pay homage to Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. Whitney Houston is still in the news after her passing almost two months ago. When does mourning a celebrity’s death end? When can the fans, the public, and the media get over it and move on with their lives? Why should the death of a celebrity overshadow the life of the artist?

I’m not saying to forget these people, and the huge impact on the music industry they had. In fact, it’s good to remember all of the amazing things that happened in their careers. It’s their deaths, and the fact that they are gone, that fans should not be engrossed with.

Don’t let the last memory of someone, no matter how famous or not, be their untimely death. Remember them for the impact they had on your life.

Reach the columnist at jermac@asu.edu

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