Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born on January 16th 1979 and died August 25th 2001. She was a dancer, an actress and an R&B singer. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, raised in Detroit, Michigan and died at Marsh Harbour, Bahamas.
At the age of 10, she appeared on the show, Star Search and performed beside Gladys Knight, her aunt. At the age of 12, she signed a contract with Jive Records and her uncle, Barry Hankerson's Blackground Records. She was introduced to R. Kelly, who soon became her mentor and her lead songwriter and producer for her first album, "Age Ain't Nothing but a Number". This album was released in 1994 and was certified double platinum by RIAA, sold 74,000 within its first week and ended up at rank 18 on Billboard 200. At this same time, she was illegally married to R. Kelly.
Aaliyah's first single, "Back & Forth", topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Her second single, a cover of The Isley Brothers' "At Your Best (You Are Love)", reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and was also certified Gold by the RIAA. The title track, "Age Ain't Nothing but a Number", reached ranking number 75 on the Hot 100.
1996, Aaliyah left JIVE records and signed Atlantic Records to work with producers Timbaland and Missy Elliott to release her second album, 'One In a Million'. The album had the single "If Your Girl Only Knew", which was at the top of Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for two weeks. It also generated the singles "Hot Like Fire" and "4 Page Letter". The following year, Aaliyah had been featured on Timbaland & Magoo's debut single, "Up Jumps da Boogie". One in a Million was ranked number 18 on the Billboard 200, selling 3 million copies in the United States and over eight million copies worldwide.The album was certified double platinum by the RIAA on June 16, 1997.
Aaliyah attended the Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts, where she majored in drama and graduated in 1997 with a 4.0 GPA. Aaliyah began her acting career that same year; she played herself in the police drama television series New York Undercover. During this time, Aaliyah participated in the Children's Benefit Concert, a charity concert that took place at the Beacon Theatre in New York.
Aaliyah performed at the 1998 Academy Awards ceremony and became the youngest singer to perform at the event. The song "Are You That Somebody?" was featured on the Dr. Dolittle soundtrack, which earned her first Grammy Award nomination. The song reached number 21 on the Hot 100.
1999, Aaliyah got her first movie role in the action moviem Romeo Must Die, which was released March 22, 2000. Aaliyah starred opposite martial artist Jet Li, playing a couple who fall in love amid their warring families. It got US$18.6 million in its first weekend, ranking number two at the box office.
In addition to acting, Aaliyah was a producer of the film's soundtrack, where she made 4 songs. "Try Again" was released as a single from the soundtrack; the song topped the Billboard Hot 100, making Aaliyah the first artist to top the chart based solely on airplay; this led the song to be released in a 12" vinyl and 7" single.The music video for "Try Again" won the Best Female Video and Best Video from a Film awards at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards. It also earned her a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocalist.The soundtrack sold 1.5 million copies in the United States.
In 2001, after completing Romeo must Die, she went on to film her second movie, Queen of the Damned. She played as an ancient vampire, Queen Akasha, someone who was described as being 'manipulative' and 'crazy'.
Aaliyah released her self-titled 3rd and final album, Aaliyah, in July 2001. It reached at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 187,000 copies within its first week. The first single from the album, "We Need a Resolution", reached number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100. She finished recording for the album in March 2001 after a year of recording tracks that began in March of the previous year. At the time she started recording the album, Aaliyah's publicist disclosed the album's release date as most likely being in October 2000. But due to the filming of Queen of the Damned, her album was delayed.
But on August 25, 2001, she and her crew boarded a small twin engine Cessna 402B at Marsh Harbour Airport after filming her video for "Rock the Boat". The plane was bound for Florida. She had a flight scheduled for the following day, but due to finishing early, she and her crew got on the fatal flight. The plane crashed at the end of the runway, killing 7 of the people including Aaliyah and one dying in the hospital later on. At the time of the crash, the pilot Luis Morales III, was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine while the plane was 700 pounds overloaded. Aaliyah's funeral was held on August 31, 2001.
Lists Featuring Aaliyah
Top Ten Saddest Musician Deaths Best Female Singers of All Time
Musicians You Would Bring Back From the Dead Best Female Dancers In the World
Most Overrated Musicians Top Ten Most Overrated Singers
Top Ten Best Dancers of All Time Best Female Singers Under 30