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Aaliyah

A star in the R&B world before she was even out of her teens, Aaliyah's promising career was tragically cut short by her death in a plane crash at age 22. Even with only three albums under her belt, she'd already earned a place as a talented trendsetter among the R&B elite. Following a successful transition to a more mature image, Aaliyah played a major role in popularizing the stuttering, futuristic production style that consumed hip-hop and urban soul in the late '90s. Her work with Timbaland, especially, was some of the most forward-looking R&B of its time, even while the competing neo-soul movement was gaining prominence. Aaliyah's death came on the heels of her third and most accomplished album, making it especially unfortunate that she was robbed of a chance to continue her creative development.

Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born January 16, 1979, in Brooklyn, and named after a Swahili word meaning "most exalted one." Her uncle, Barry Hankerson, was a manager and entertainment lawyer who was married to Gladys Knight for a time, and her mother, also a singer, enrolled Aaliyah in voice lessons before she'd even started school. Still very young, she moved with her family to Detroit, where she sang in several school plays. At age nine, she successfully auditioned for the TV show Star Search, where she performed "My Funny Valentine" (and lost). Two years later, thanks to her uncle Hankerson's connections, she spent five nights in Las Vegas performing as part of Gladys Knight's revue. In addition to his niece, Hankerson was also managing a rising R&B star named R. Kelly, and introduced the two in 1992. Kelly soon took Aaliyah under his wing and began writing and producing songs for her.

Aaliyah's debut album, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number, was released in the summer of 1994 and quickly became a platinum-selling hit on the strength of two smash singles, "Back & Forth" and "At Your Best (You Are Love)" (the latter an Isley Brothers cover). Both songs hit the pop Top Ten and went gold, and "Back & Forth" went all the way to number one on the R&B charts, while "At Your Best" fell one spot short. Late in the year, Aaliyah found herself at the center of controversy when rumors spread that the 15-year-old singer had married Kelly, who was more than ten years her senior. Although both camps were resolutely tight-lipped, documents later confirmed that the two had wed in the state of Illinois that August and gotten an annulment shortly thereafter. By the time the media buzz died down, the two had parted ways both personally and creatively.

In 1996, Aaliyah released her follow-up album, One in a Million, which signaled a newly emerging maturity. She worked with several different producers, most notably Timbaland, who co-wrote several tracks with his songwriting partner, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott (soon to become a solo star in her own right). Several of these -- "If Your Girl Only Knew," "One in a Million," "4 Page Letter" -- became hits, with "If Your Girl Only Knew" going all the way to the top of the R&B charts. The Diane Warren-penned ballad "The One I Gave My Heart To" was also a Top Ten R&B hit, and One in a Million wound up going double platinum. In the meantime, Aaliyah graduated from high school (in 1997) and contributed several songs to film soundtracks. "Journey to the Past," from Anastasia, was nominated for an Oscar, and in early 1998 she had a major hit with "Are You That Somebody?" from Eddie Murphy's Dr. Dolittle (in which she also made a cameo appearance).

Aaliyah took her time recording a follow-up, and put the process completely on hold to start an acting career. She co-starred with martial-arts master Jet Li and rapper DMX in 2000's urban Shakespeare adaptation Romeo Must Die, and her accompanying soundtrack single, "Try Again," became her first number one hit on the pop charts that summer. Aaliyah subsequently completed filming on the Anne Rice vampire flick Queen of the Damned, playing the title role as a vampire queen, and was cast in a prominent role in the two sequels to The Matrix. Plus, she finally finished her long-awaited third album, with Timbaland again handling the most prominent tracks. Released in the summer of 2001, Aaliyah completed the singer's image overhaul into a sensual yet sensitive adult. The record received excellent reviews, and the first single, "We Need a Resolution," was a Top 20 R&B hit.

About a month after the album's release, Aaliyah traveled to the Bahamas to film a video for its second single, "Rock the Boat." On August 25, she and several members of the crew boarded a small twin-engine Cessna plane returning to the mainland. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff, exploding on impact; Aaliyah and seven other passengers were killed instantly, and the ninth later died at a Nassau hospital. Investigations into the crash showed that the plane had been loaded far past its weight capacity, and that pilot Luis Morales had recently been arrested for crack cocaine possession (traces of which, along with alcohol, were found in his system); furthermore, the charter company, Blackhawk International Airways, had not authorized him to pilot the craft in question. Naturally, the R&B community reacted with an outpouring of shock and sorrow, and Aaliyah became the singer's only chart-topping album, eventually going double platinum. "Rock the Boat" and "More Than a Woman" were both posthumous Top Ten hits on the R&B chart, and Queen of the Damned was a commercial success upon its release in early 2002, topping the box office in its first week. As details continued to emerge from the plane crash investigation, Aaliyah's parents filed suit against Blackhawk Airways, Virgin Records, and several other companies. At the end of 2002, the posthumous album I Care 4 U entered the charts at number three; it mixed some of the singer's biggest hits with a selection of unreleased material. The title track was a Top 20 pop hit, and "Miss You" topped the R&B charts early the next year. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Down With The Clique EP

1. Down With The Clique (Madhouse Mix Radio Edit II)

2. Down With The Clique (Madhouse Mix Radio Edit I)

3. Down With The Clique (Dancehall Mix)

4. Down With The Clique (Reggae Mix)

x

Track List: The Thing I Like EP

1. The Thing I Like (Paul Gotel's Radio Mix)

2. The Thing I Like (Paul Gotel's Classic Anthem Mix)

3. The Thing I Like (PG Tips Satellite Mix)

4. The Thing I Like (Paul Gotel's Deep & Dubby Mix)

x

Track List: I Care 4 U

1. Back And Forth

2. Are You That Somebody

3. One In A Million

5. More Than A Woman

8. All I Need

9. Miss You

11. Come Over

12. Erica Kane

13. At Your Best (You Are Love)

x

Track List: One In A Million

1. Beats 4 Da Streets (Intro)

3. One In A Million

4. A Girl Like You

7. Got To Give It Up

9. Everything's Gonna Be Alright

10. Giving You More

11. I Gotcha' Back

12. Never Givin' Up

14. Never Comin' Back

16. The One I Gave My Heart To

17. Came To Give Love (Outro)

x

Track List: Age Ain't Nothing But A Number EP

1. Age Ain't Nothing But A Number (LP Mix - No Intro)

2. Age Ain't Nothing But A Number

3. Age Ain't Nothing But A Number (Instrumental)

x

Track List: Age Ain't Nothing But A Number

1. Intro

2. Throw Your Hands Up

3. Back & Forth

4. Age Ain't Nothing But A Number

5. Down With The Clique

6. At Your Best (You Are Love)

7. No One Knows How To Love Me Quite Like You Do

8. I'm So Into You

9. Street Thing

10. Young Nation

11. Old School

12. I'm Down

x

Track List: (At Your Best) You Are Love EP

1. At Your Best (You Are Love) (LP Mix - No Intro)

2. At Your Best (You Are Love) (Gangstar Child Remix)

3. At Your Best (You Are Love) (Stepper's Ball Remix)

4. At Your Best (You Are Love) (UK Flavour)

5. At Your Best (You Are Love) (UK Flavour Stepper's Ball)

6. At Your Best (You Are Love)

x

Track List: Back & Forth EP

1. Back & Forth (Mr. Lee & R. Kelly's Remix)

2. Back & Forth (Ms. Mello Remix)

3. Back & Forth (Mr. Lee's Club Mix)

4. Back & Forth (Ms. Mello Instrumental)

5. Back & Forth (Mr. Lee's Bonus Beats)

Similar Artists

Comments

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You Are Truly Missed By All Such A Beautiful Angel Gone To Soon....
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I miss her
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Deer I can not Tell you sorry to females friend Los I USA we love you if you need love .
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I love aaliyah music
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MISS YOU .... When. Your best friend 4 gets about you :'(
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Still looking for Mr
Right
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Love aaliyah she die to soon love her
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Hey wright8042

I like Aaliyah
To bad she died
We all know she's in peace with Jesus
And so as Micheal Jackson and
Whitney Houston I was really sad
Went I was Micheal Jacksons serves that
I was crying when Paris started crying then I was crying my face was really wet I was crying until it was over until 10:40 at night
I cryed myself to sleep it was really sad for
Paris I bet bet she cryed all the way home��
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Aaliyah you
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Aaliyah was a beautiful Black woman and very talent. That kick "Rock The Boat"! Straight kick. Real smooth......
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wright8042
R.I.P I love you Aaliyah
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ladyflag2003
R.I.P. That pilot need to learn how to fly a plane
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U
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Wow 20 years later I still sound beautiful. Tru Angel. R.I.p
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she is so f**kin pretty i wish she was still alive
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Aaliyah- so beautiful and smart. Great music ....
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The sound of her voice in some of her songs makes me sad. I love and miss her. What a beautiful person and spirit she had RIP Ms. Aaliyah.
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Cold A** station.YEAH . T h e KING
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Gone to soon.One of the GREAT young voices n the game.R.I.P .You were one in a million.The king
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capricorn_mi l l e n n i u m 1 3
RIP AALIYAH QUEEN. You are so missed ��
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Aaliyah you were -"One In A Million"! Love ❤️that name........
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One of my fav songs from Aaliyah!
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My s**t....
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Favorite song Aaliyah miss you also ��
LIP Baby girl!!!
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Love love love my Aaliyah!! Your an Angel.
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I love you Aaliyah ❤️
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Rip Baby Girl ��
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galesnlisa
Rip Aaliyah I ������������ � u
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galesnlisa
#letmeknowho w d i d u g e t s o o g o o d
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edebor6
BSc
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Aaliyah missed you love musical movie miss her too to miracle
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Rip Aaliyah luv ya
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Gpd is good
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Love u aaliyah u were da greatest
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Miss her love her music n her beautiful spirit
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Love you Aaliyah ❤
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Beautiful
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Even though aaliyah's gone........ . . . h e r vibes of rhythms carry generations on!
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Hey sis
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����This Song, well all of Aaliyah's �� touches on so many levels....R. I . P
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One In A Million
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Try Again
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R
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Beautiful woman , name and music. Peace Queen.......
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And that is my untee and my mom named me Aaliyah and the is my mom sister
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R.I.p to a great singer n actress...my idol Aaliyah
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Aaliyah was such a beautiful person and is truly missed especially by her famiy and father and sister Robert and Ahnee Holland RIP Aaliyah we love you always Jeannie Ashford
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aaLIYah 4EvEr LoVeD
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Lindsie Ann Aleman Hi sweet hat love I her come to me I wot to see you
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An angle is singing
Show more

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