R&B icon Aaliyah was a Nine Inch Nails fanatic, and the internet is loving it

Aaliyah, and Trent Reznor on stage
(Image credit: Getty)

The metal corner of TikTok is currently delighted at finding that 90s/early 2000s R&B icon Aaliyah was a huge Nine Inch Nails fanatic. The singer, who tragically lost her life aged just 22 in a 2001 plane crash in the Bahamas that killed nine people, could be seen in numerous interview segments back in the day chatting about the band - and some of those have made their way back online.

TikTok user @68tilinfinity has compiled some such examples, with the first clip featuring Aaliyah being interviewed on the red carpet at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, where Nine Inch Nails performed The Fragile live on stage. 

"Someone I understand you're looking forward to meeting tonight is Trent Reznor, you're a fan?" asks MTV's interviewer. "Yes, Nine Inch Nails, I'm a huge fan, so I'm looking forward to that performance!" Aaliyah shoots back. 

In another segment where Aaliyah is picking some of her favourite songs, the singer pivots to discussing Nine In Nails, acknowledging that her love of the band may surprise some fans. "Let's switch things up and get into some alternative rock," she smiles. "And I am a fan of this music, I don't know if a lot of people know that, but my brother turned me on to this kind of music, and also to this incredible, incredible group. 

"And another reason I like Nine Inch Nails is because their production, I think, is a little similar to some of my work," she continues, "some of Timbaland's beats, that electronic kind of thing that Trent Reznor does. And that is why I chose Closer."

In another, similar segment filmed for MCM where Aaliyah discusses some of her favourite music videos, she once again tips her cap to Trent and the boys. "We're going to check out one of my favourite groups, Nine Inch Nails," she explains. "We're In This Together: It was the first single off of their last album [1999's The Fragile], and the whole video is black and white. I love black and white videos, and I just love Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails."

Needless to say, the footage has delighted fans of both Aaliyah and Nine Inch Nails, with both fandoms appreciating one music icon celebrating another.

Watch the videos below.


♬ original sound - She Extends

Aaliyah does, of course, already hold a special place in many alternative music fans' hearts thanks to her portrayal of Akasha in 2002's cheesy vampire sequel, Queen Of The Damned. While the film itself was a commercial and critical flop, Aaliyah's performance was generally well received - and the film's metal-centric soundtrack remains rightly praised as a classic. 

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.