Baby girl; better known as Aaliyah, exited the stage of life at a point where she was transitioning. She was more than a woman but not yet an icon. In death, her music has transcended cultures, genders and genres.

Today marks what would have been her 39th birthday; a segway into middle age.

Flashback to 2001, the year of her untimely death and remember that there was no B-day or Beyhive. Queen B aka Beyoncé was a rising star, having enjoyed group success but nothing that was indicative of all to come.

In Aaliyah’s absence, many questions have come up. By far, the most common and provocative is; Would Mrs. Knowles-Carter-Fierce be the star she is today had Detroit’s Finest not died?

To be fair, this question comes up every few years yet it never gets easier to answer. Some suggest, rather foolishly, that Aaliyah’s demise is the sole reason for B’s takeover.

Meanwhile, others would tell you that ‘yoncé was/is an unstoppable force that would have pushed through regardless of what was going on around her.

What side are you on? Take a minute and share your thoughts in the comments.