Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage

Before Jay-Z lucked up with his future wife, Beyonce Knowles, he had a crush on another singer, Aaliyah, who was dating Damon Dash at the time.

Dash, who co-founded Roc-a-Fella Records with Jay-Z, says his former business partner "tried very hard" to get with Aaliyah, but she wasn't impressed with him.

Dash, now 48, dated Aaliyah for about a year until she died in a plane crash at age 22 in 2001.

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Jay-Z was the odd man out in this photo dated July 2, 2000. (L-R) Natane Adcock, Damon Dash, Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs and Jennifer Lopez partied together at Combs' Fourth of July party in the Hamptons.

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Although they were not formally engaged, Dash says he and Aaliyah were planning to get married and raise a family.

Dash claims Jay-Z tried his best to woo Aaliyah away from him. He said Jay-Z "went hard" at Aaliyah but she curved him repeatedly. Even though she was dating Dash, Jay-Z couldn't keep his paws off of Aaliyah.

Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage

In this photo dated May 6, 2000, Jay-Z is hugged up on Aaliyah at a Tommy Hilfiger party in Los Angeles. Also pictured are Bijou Phillips, 2nd from right, and Quincy Jones' daughter Kidada Jones, who dated rapper LL Cool J from 1992 to 1994.

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