Drake's appreciation for Aaliyah is well-known, from the way he's spoken of the late singer in interviews to sampling her voice for his "Unforgettable" track with Young Jeezy.

In honor of the nine-year anniversary of Aaliyah's death, Drake penned a letter to the "Rock the Boat" singer that was posted on RapRadar.com.

"Dear Dana," Drake begins, referring to the singer by her middle name. "I've never lost a parent, a friend, or a lover but I will never forget this day for the rest of my life. I remember getting the news that you had passed and it connected with my heart like a clean shot from Muhammad Ali. I was crushed."

The Thank Me Later rapper went on to explain that he was one of Aaliyah's biggest fans and that he was "truly in love" with her. He complimented the star's appearance, the way she carried herself, and the confidence she communicated in her music, be it about love or heartache.

Now that he's become a professional musician, he lamented that he and Aaliyah would never get the chance to collaborate.

"But you should know, we all listen to you every day and we remain inspired and moved by all that you've given the world," he finished. "I hope I make the right life choices so I can end up in heaven where I know you rest your head. I'll continue to make music in your honor until the day we finally meet."

Share your memories of Aaliyah in the comments.