Skip to content
Home » Aaliyah

Aaliyah

Aaliyah

Aaliyah Dana Haughton – January 16, 1979 – August 25,
2001)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6MEBi4ejTs

Aaliyah Dana Haughton was a multi-platinum recording artist, fashion icon, philanthropist,

and burgeoning actress. She left behind a body of work that made an undeniable impact on R&B

music and remains a testament to her many talents. Her debut album in 1994, “Age Ain’t

Nothing But a Number,” was a hit due to her debut single “Back and Forth.” However, it was

her collaboration with a then unknown Missy Elliott and Timbaland for the album “One in a A

Million” that blew her career up.

Before her death, she also had an up-and-coming acting career in films like “Romeo Must Die”

and a role in the “Matrix” sequel. Aaliyah once told VIBE, “Of course, I would love to get

into acting and I am talking to a few producers now. That would be really exciting to be a

jack of all trades and do music, movies and TV. I love drama and I think I could be a good

dramatic actress. I have to ‘act out’ emotions in my videos a lot and I try to seem as

realistic as possible.”

She continued, “I also would like to make bigger impact on the world by giving back, and

using my celebrity to raise money for people who need it the most. What good is having money

and being famous if you can’t share it with others less fortunate than yourself? I always

felt that you should treat others how you yourself want to be treated.”

Sadly, we lost the singer in a plane crash on August 25, 2001 in the Bahamas. She was only

22 years old.

Biography

Aaliyah Dana Haughton – January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001) was an American singer, actress,

and model. Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Detroit, Michigan, she first gained

recognition at the age of 10, when she appeared on the television show Star Search and

performed in concert alongside Gladys Knight. At the age of 12, Aaliyah signed with Jive

Records and her uncle Barry Hankerson’s Blackground Records. Hankerson introduced her to R.

Kelly, who became her mentor, as well as lead songwriter and producer of her debut album,

Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number. The album sold 3 million copies in the United States and was

certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). After

facing allegations of an illegal marriage with Kelly, Aaliyah ended her contract with Jive

and signed with Atlantic Records.

Aaliyah worked with record producers Timbaland and Missy Elliott for her second album, One

in a Million, which sold 3 million copies in the United States and more than 8 million

copies worldwide. In 2000, Aaliyah appeared in her first film, Romeo Must Die. She

contributed to the film’s soundtrack, which spawned the single "Try Again". The song topped

the Billboard Hot 100 solely on airplay, making Aaliyah the first artist in Billboard

history to achieve this goal. "Try Again" also earned Aaliyah a Grammy Award nomination for

Best Female R&B Vocalist. After completing Romeo Must Die, Aaliyah filmed her role in Queen

of the Damned, and released her self-titled third and final studio album in 2001.

On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah and eight others were killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas

after filming the music video for the single "Rock the Boat". The pilot, Luis Morales III,

was unlicensed at the time of the accident and toxicology tests revealed that he had traces

of cocaine and alcohol in his system. Aaliyah’s family later filed a wrongful death lawsuit

against Blackhawk International Airways, which was settled out of court. Aaliyah’s music

continued to achieve commercial success with several posthumous releases, and has sold an

estimated 24 to 32 million albums worldwide. She has been credited for helping redefine

contemporary R&B, pop and hip hop,[1] earning her the nicknames the "Princess of R&B" and

"Queen of Urban Pop". Billboard lists her as the tenth most successful female R&B artist of

the past 25 years, and the 27th most successful in history.

Early life

Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born on January 16, 1979, in Brooklyn, New York,[2] and was the

younger child of Diane and Michael "Miguel" Haughton (1951–2012).[3] She was of African-

American descent, and had Native American (Oneida) heritage from a grandmother.[3][4][5] Her

name has been described as a female version of the Arabic "Ali", but the original Jewish

name "Aliya (Hebrew: אליה)" is derived from the Hebrew word "aliyah (Hebrew: עלייה)", meaning

"highest, most exalted one, the best."[6][7] The singer was highly fond of her Semitic name,

calling it "beautiful" and asserting she was "very proud of it" and strove to live up to her

name every day.[6] Aaliyah’s mother enrolled Aaliyah in voice lessons at an early age.[2]

She started performing at weddings, church choir and charity events.[8] When Aaliyah was

five years old, her family moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she was reared along with her

older brother, Rashad.[9][10] She attended a Catholic school, Gesu Elementary, where in

first grade she was cast in the stage play Annie, which inspired her to become an

entertainer.[11] In Detroit, her father began working in the warehouse business, one of his

brother-in-law Barry Hankerson’s widening interests. Her mother stayed home and raised

Aaliyah and her brother.[12]

Throughout Aaliyah’s life, she had a good relationship with Rashad, who recalled Aaliyah

having a beautiful voice as a child.[11] Aaliyah’s family was very close due to the

struggles of her grandparents and when they moved to Detroit, the Hankersons were ready to

take them in if necessary. These same bonds led to ties in the music industry, under the

Blackground Records label.[6]

Aaliyah’s mother was a vocalist, and her uncle, Barry Hankerson, was an entertainment lawyer

who had been married to Gladys Knight.[10] As a child, Aaliyah traveled with Knight and

worked with an agent in New York to audition for commercials and television programs,

including Family Matters; she went on to appear on Star Search at the age of ten.[2] Aaliyah

chose to begin auditioning. Her mother made the decision to drop her surname.[12][13] She

auditioned for several record labels and at age 11 appeared in concerts alongside Knight.

[10][14] She had several pet animals during her childhood, including ducks, snakes and

iguanas. Her cousin Jomo had a pet alligator, which Aaliyah felt was too much, remarking,

"that was something I wasn’t going to stroke."[6]

Her grandmother died in 1991. Years after her death, Aaliyah said her grandmother supported

everyone in the family and always wanted to hear her sing, as well as admitting that she

"spoiled" her and her brother Rashad. She also enjoyed Aaliyah’s singing and would have

Aaliyah to sing for her. Aaliyah said she thought of her grandmother whenever she fell into

depression.[15] Aaliyah’s hands reminded her of her aunt, who died when she was very young

and whom Aaliyah remembered as an "amazingly beautiful woman".[16]

Education

When she was growing up, Aaliyah attended Detroit schools and believed she was well-liked,

but got teased for her short stature. She recalled coming into her own prior to age 15 and

grew to love her height. Her mother would tell her to be happy that she was small and

compliment her. Other children disliked Aaliyah, but she did not stay focused on them. "You

always have to deal with people who are jealous, but there were so few it didn’t even

matter. The majority of kids supported me, which was wonderful. When it comes to dealing

with negative people, I just let it in one ear and out the other. Those people were

invisible to me." Even in her adult life, she considered herself small. She had "learned to

accept and love" herself and added: "… the most important thing is to think highly of

yourself because if you don’t, no one else will".[6]

During her audition for acceptance to the Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing

Arts, Aaliyah sung the song "Ave Maria" in its entirety in the Italian language.[17]

Aaliyah, who maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average when graduating from high school,

felt education was important. She saw fit to keep her grades up despite the pressures and

time constraints brought on her during the early parts of her career. She labeled herself as

a perfectionist and recalled always being a good student. Aaliyah reflected: "I always

wanted to maintain that, even in high school when I first started to travel. I wanted to

keep that 4.0. Being in the industry, you know, I don’t want kids to think, ‘I can just sing

and forget about school.’ I think it’s very important to have an education, and even more

important to have something to fall back on." She did this in her own life, as she planned

to "fall back on" another part of the entertainment industry. She believed that she could

teach music history or open her own school to teach that or drama if she did not make a

living as a recording artist because, as she reasoned, "when you pick a career it has to be

something you love".[6]

Career

1991–1995: Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number

R. Kelly was introduced to Aaliyah and became her mentor, as well as lead songwriter and

producer on her debut album.
After Hankerson signed a distribution deal with Jive Records, he signed Aaliyah to his

Blackground Records label at the age of 12.[18][19] Hankerson later introduced her to

recording artist and producer R. Kelly,[14] who became Aaliyah’s mentor, as well as lead

songwriter and producer of her first album, which was recorded when she was 14.[2][19][20]

Aaliyah’s debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number, was released under her mononym

"Aaliyah", by Jive and Blackground Records on May 24, 1994; the album debut at number 24 on

the Billboard 200 chart, selling 74,000 copies in its first week.[21][22] It ultimately

peaked at number 18 on the Billboard 200 and sold over three million copies in the United

States, where it was certified two times Platinum by the RIAA.[22][23][24] In Canada, the

album sold over 50,000 copies and was certified gold by the CRIA.[25] Aaliyah’s debut

single, "Back & Forth", topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for three weeks and

was certified Gold by the RIAA.[24][26] The second single, a cover of The Isley Brothers’

"At Your Best (You Are Love)", peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and was also

certified Gold by the RIAA.[24][26] The title track, "Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number",

peaked at number 75 on the Hot 100.[26] Additionally, she released "The Thing I Like" as

part of the soundtrack to the 1994 film A Low Down Dirty Shame.[27]

Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number received generally favorable reviews from music critics. Some

writers noted that Aaliyah’s "silky vocals" and "sultry voice" blended with Kelly’s new jack

swing helped define R&B in the 1990s.[28][29] Her sound was also compared to that of female

quartet En Vogue.[28][30] Christopher John Farley of Time magazine described the album as a

"beautifully restrained work", noting that Aaliyah’s "girlish, breathy vocals rode calmly on

R. Kelly’s rough beats".[31] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic felt that the album had its

"share of filler", but described the singles as "slyly seductive".[2] He also claimed that

the songs on the album were "frequently better" than that of Kelly’s second studio album, 12

Play.[2] The single "At Your Best (You Are Love)" was criticized by Billboard for being out

of place on the album and for its length.[32]

1996–1999: One in a Million

"If Your Girl Only Knew" (1996)

Menu

0:00

The first single released from her second studio album, "If Your Girl Only Knew" was

described as a sassy, organ-infused song.[33] Aaliyah was noted for having "smoother, more

seductive, and stronger" singing.[34]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

In 1996, Aaliyah left Jive Records and signed with Atlantic Records.[14] She worked with

record producers Timbaland and Missy Elliott, who contributed to her second studio album,

One in a Million.[10] Missy Elliott recalled Timbaland and herself being nervous to work

with Aaliyah, since Aaliyah had already released her successful début album while Missy

Elliott and Timbaland were just starting out. Missy Elliott also feared she would be a diva,

but reflected that Aaliyah "came in and was so warming; she made us immediately feel like

family."[35] The album yielded the single "If Your Girl Only Knew", which topped the

Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for two weeks.[26] It also generated the singles "Hot Like

Fire" and "4 Page Letter". The following year, Aaliyah was featured on Timbaland & Magoo’s

debut single, "Up Jumps da Boogie".[36] One in a Million peaked at number 18 on the

Billboard 200,[23] selling 3 million copies in the United States and over eight million

copies worldwide.[37][38] The album was certified double platinum by the RIAA on June 16,

1997, denoting shipments of two million copies.[24] The month prior to One in a Millions

release, on May 5, 1997, music publisher Windswept Pacific filed a lawsuit in U.S. District

Court against Aaliyah claiming she had illegally copied Bobby Caldwell’s "What You Won’t Do

for Love" for the single "Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number".[39]

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.[14][40][41] Aaliyah began her acting career

that same year; she played herself in the police drama television series New York

Undercover.[42] During this time, Aaliyah participated in the Children’s Benefit Concert, a

charity concert that took place at the Beacon Theatre in New York.[43] Aaliyah also became

the spokesperson for Tommy Hilfiger Corporation.[44] During Aaliyah’s campaign for Tommy

Hilfiger the company had sold all 2,400 of the red, white and blue baggy jeans emblazoned

with the Hilfiger name that Aaliyah wore in their 1997 advertisements and they were

constantly restocking those jeans.[45] In 1997 Aaliyah performed the Christmas carol What

Child Is This at the annual holiday special Christmas in Washington.[46] She contributed on

the soundtrack album for the Fox Animation Studios animated feature Anastasia, performing a

cover version of "Journey to the Past" which earned songwriters Lynn Ahrens and Stephen

Flaherty a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.[27][38][47] Aaliyah

performed the song at the 1998 Academy Awards ceremony and became the youngest singer to

perform at the event.[48][49] The song "Are You That Somebody?" was featured on the Dr.

Dolittle soundtrack, which earned Aaliyah her first Grammy Award nomination.[50] The song

peaked at number 21 on the Hot 100.[51]

2000: Romeo Must Die

In 1999, Aaliyah landed her first film role in Romeo Must Die, released March 22, 2000.

Aaliyah starred opposite martial artist Jet Li, playing a couple who fall in love amid their

warring families. It grossed US$18.6 million in its first weekend, ranking number two at the

box office.[52] Aaliyah purposely stayed away from reviews of the film to "make it easier

on" herself, but she heard "that people were able to get into me, which is what I

wanted."[53] In contrast, some critics felt there was no chemistry between her and Jet Li,

as well as viewing the film was too simplistic.[54] This was echoed by Elvis Mitchell of The

New York Times, who wrote that while Aaliyah was "a natural" and the film was conceived as a

spotlight for both her and Li, "they have so little chemistry together you’d think they’re

putting out a fire instead of shooting off sparks.[55] Her role was well received by Glen

Oliver by IGN who liked that she did not portray her character "as a victimized female" but

instead "as a strong female who does not come across as an over-the-top Women’s Right

Advocate."[56]

Aaliyah in 2000
In addition to acting, Aaliyah served as an executive producer of the film’s soundtrack,

where she contributed four songs.[57] "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.[26][58] The music video won the Best Female Video and Best Video from a Film awards

at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards.[59] It also earned her a Grammy Award nomination for

Best Female R&B Vocalist.[60] The soundtrack went on to sell 1.5 million copies in the

United States.[61]

2001: Aaliyah

After completing Romeo Must Die, Aaliyah began to work on her second film, Queen of the

Damned. She played the role of an ancient vampire, Queen Akasha, which she described as a

"manipulative, crazy, sexual being".[19] Filming both Romeo Must Die and Queen of the Damned

delayed the release of the album. Aaliyah had not intended for her albums to have such a gap

between them. "I wanted to take a break after One in a Million to just relax, think about

how I wanted to approach the next album. Then, when I was ready to start back up, "Romeo"

happened, and so I had to take another break and do that film and then do the soundtrack,

then promote it. The break turned into a longer break than I anticipated."[62] Aaliyah

enjoyed balancing her singing and acting careers. Though she called music a "first" for her,

she also had been acting since she was young and had wanted to begin acting "at some point

in my career," but "wanted it to be the right time and the right vehicle" and felt Romeo

Must Die "was it".[61] Connie Johnson of the Los Angeles Times argued that Aaliyah having to

focus on her film career may have caused her to not give the album "the attention it

merited."[63] Collaborator Timbaland concurred, stating that he was briefly in Australia to

work on the album while Aaliyah was filming and did not feel the same production had gone

into Aaliyah as One in a Million had. He also said Virgin Records had rushed the album and

Aaliyah had specifically requested Missy Elliott and Timbaland work on Aaliyah with her.[64]

During the recording stages for the album, Aaliyah’s publicist disclosed that the album’s

release date was most likely in October 2000.[65] Ultimately she finished recording the

album in March 2001; after a year of recording tracks that began in March of the previous

year.[66] Aaliyah was released five years after One in a Million on July 17, 2001,[2] and it

debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 187,000 copies in its first week.[67]

The first single from the album, "We Need a Resolution", peaked at number 59 on the

Billboard Hot 100.[26] The week after Aaliyah’s death, her third and self-titled studio

album, rose from number 19 to number one on the Billboard 200.[68] "Rock the Boat" was

released as a posthumous single. The music video premiered on BET’s Access Granted; it

became the most viewed and highest rated episode in the history of the show.[69] The song

peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop

Songs chart.[70] It was also included on the Now That’s What I Call Music! 8 compilation

series; a portion of the album’s profits was donated to the Aaliyah Memorial Fund.[71]

Promotional posters for Aaliyah that had been put up in major cities such as New York and

Los Angeles became makeshift memorials for grieving fans.[72]

"More than a Woman" and "I Care 4 U" were released as posthumous singles and peaked within

the top 25 of the Billboard Hot 100.[70] The album was certified double Platinum by the RIAA

and sold 2.6 million copies in the United States.[24][73] "More than a Woman" reached number

one on the UK singles chart making Aaliyah the first female deceased artist to reach number

one on the UK singles chart.[74][75] "More than a Woman" was replaced by George Harrison’s

"My Sweet Lord" which is the only time in the UK singles chart’s history where a dead artist

has replaced another dead artist at number one.[76] In July 2001, she allowed MTV’s show

Diary behind-the-scenes access to her life and stated "I am truly blessed to wake up every

morning to do something that I love; there is nothing better than that." She continued,

"Everything is worth it – the hard work, the times when you’re tired, the times when you are

a bit sad. In the end, it’s all worth it because it really makes me happy. I wouldn’t trade

it for anything else in the world. I’ve got good friends, a beautiful family and I’ve got a

career. I thank God for his blessings every single chance I get."[77]

Aaliyah was signed to appear in several future films, including Honey,[78] a romantic film

titled Some Kind of Blue,[79] and a Whitney Houston-produced remake of the 1976 film

Sparkle.[4] Whitney Houston recalled Aaliyah being "so enthusiastic" about the film and

wanting to appear in the film "so badly". Houston also voiced her belief that Aaliyah was

more than qualified for the role and the film was shelved after she died, since Aaliyah had

"gone to a better place".[80] Studio officials of Warner Brothers stated that Aaliyah and

her mother had both read the script for Sparkle. According to them, Aaliyah was passionate

about playing the lead role of a young singer in a girl group.[81] The film was released in

2012, eleven years after Aaliyah’s death. Before her death Aaliyah was cast in the sequels

of The Matrix as the character Zee.[14][82] She had filmed part of her role in The Matrix

Reloaded and was scheduled to film and reprise her role in The Matrix Revolutions as Zee.

[36] Aaliyah told Access Hollywood that she was "beyond happy" to have landed the role.[83]

The role was subsequently recast to Nona Gaye.[82] Aaliyah’s scenes were included in the

tribute section of the Matrix Ultimate Collection series.[84]

In November 2001, Ronald Isley stated that Aaliyah and the Isley Brothers had discussed a

collaboration prior to her death. She had previously covered the Isley Brothers’ single "At

Your Best (You Are Love)".[85] Prior to her death, she expressed the possibility of

recording songs for the Queen of The Damned soundtrack and welcomed the possibility of

collaborating with Jonathan Davis.[66] By 2001, Aaliyah had enjoyed her now seven-year

career and felt a sense of accomplishment. "This is what I always wanted," she said of her

career in Vibe magazine. "I breathe to perform, to entertain, I can’t imagine myself doing

anything else. I’m just a really happy girl right now. I honestly love every aspect of this

business. I really do. I feel very fulfilled and complete."[54]

Artistry

Voice and style

"Are You That Somebody?" (1998)

Menu

0:00

Timbaland’s stuttering, idiosyncratic productions challenged Aaliyah to reveal her artistic

personality more than she had on R. Kelly’s smoother musical settings.[30]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Aaliyah had the vocal range of a soprano.[14] With the release of her debut album "Age Ain’t

Nothing But a Number", writer Dimitri Ehrlich of Entertainment Weekly compared her style and

sound to R&B group En Vogue.[86] Ehrlich also expressed that Aaliyah’s "silky vocals are

more agile than those of self-proclaimed queen of hip-hop soul Mary J. Blige."[86] In her

review for Aaliyah’s second studio album One in a Million Vibe magazine, music critic Dream

Hampton said that Aaliyah’s "deliciously feline" voice has the same "pop appeal" as Janet

Jackson’s.[87] Aaliyah described her sound as "street but sweet", which featured her

"gentle" vocals over a "hard" beat.[88] Though Aaliyah did not write any of her own

material,[14] her lyrics were described as in-depth.[89][90] She incorporated R&B, pop and

hip hop into her music.[10][91][92][93][94][95][96] Her songs were often uptempo and at the

same time often dark, revolving around "matters of the heart".[97] After her R. Kelly-

produced debut album, Aaliyah worked with Timbaland and Missy Elliott, whose productions

were more electronic.[98] Sasha Frere-Jones of The Wire finds Aaliyah’s "Are You That

Somebody?" to be Timbaland’s "masterpiece" and exemplary of his production’s start-stop

rhythms, with "big half-second pauses between beats and voices".[99] Keith Harris of Rolling

Stone cites "Are You That Somebody?" as "one of ’90s R&B’s most astounding moments".[30]

Aaliyah’s songs have been said to have "crisp production" and "staccato arrangements" that

"extend genre boundaries" while containing "old-school" soul music.[100] Kelefah Sanneh of

The New York Times called Aaliyah "a digital diva who wove a spell with ones and zeroes",

and writes that her songs comprised "simple vocal riffs, repeated and refracted to echo the

manipulated loops that create digital rhythm", as Timbaland’s "computer-programmed beats

fitted perfectly with her cool, breathy voice to create a new kind of electronic

music."[101] When she experimented with other genres on Aaliyah, such as Latin pop and heavy

metal, Entertainment Weekly’s Craig Seymour panned the attempt.[97] While Analyzing her

eponymous album British publication NME (New Musical Express) felt that Aaliyah’s radical

third album was intended to consolidate her position as U.S.R&B’s most experimental artist.

[102] As her albums progressed, writers felt that Aaliyah matured, calling her progress a

"declaration of strength and independence".[90][103] ABC News noted that Aaliyah’s music was

evolving from the punchy pop influenced Hip hop and R&B to a more mature, introspective

sound on her third album.[104] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic described her eponymous

album, Aaliyah, as "a statement of maturity and a stunning artistic leap forward" and called

it one of the strongest urban soul records of its time.[90] She portrayed "unfamiliar

sounds, styles and emotions", but managed to please critics with the contemporary sound it

contained.[90] Ernest Hardy of Rolling Stone felt that Aaliyah reflected a stronger

technique, where she gave her best vocal performance.[100] Prior to her death, Aaliyah

expressed a desire to learn about the burgeoning UK garage scene she had heard about at the

time.[98]

Influences

As an artist, Aaliyah often voiced that she was inspired by a number of performers. These

include Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Sade, En Vogue, Nine Inch Nails, Korn, Prince,

Naughty by Nature, Johnny Mathis, Janet Jackson[105] and Barbra Streisand.[106] Aaliyah

expressed that Michael Jackson’s Thriller was her "favorite album" and that "nothing will

ever top Thriller."[105] She stated that she admired Sade because "she stays true to her

style no matter what … she’s an amazing artist, an amazing performer … and I absolutely

love her."[105] Aaliyah expressed she had always desired to work with Janet Jackson, whom

she had drawn frequent comparison to over the course of her career, stating "I admire her a

great deal. She’s a total performer … I’d love to do a duet with Janet Jackson."[105]

[107][108][109] Jackson reciprocated Aaliyah’s affections, commenting "I’ve loved her from

the beginning because she always comes out and does something different, musically." Jackson

also stated she would have enjoyed collaborating with Aaliyah.[105]

Image

Aaliyah focused on her public image throughout her career. She often wore baggy clothes and

sunglasses, stating that she wanted to be herself.[110] She described her image as being

"important … to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack".[111] She often wore

black clothing, starting a trend for similar fashion among women in United States and

Japan.[14][112] Aaliyah’s fashionable style has been credited for being an influence on new

fashion trends called "Health Goth"[113][114] and "Ghetto Goth" also known as GHE20 GOTH1K

[115][116] Aaliyah participated in fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger’s All America Tour and

was featured in Tommy Jean ads, which depicted her in boxer shorts, baggy jeans and a tube

top. Hilfiger’s brother, Andy, called it "a whole new look" that was "classy but sexy".[112]

Carson Daly A former VJ on MTV’s Total Request Live commented on Aaliyah’s style by saying

that she was "cutting edge" ,"always one step ahead of the curve" and that "the TRL audience

looks to her to figure out what’s hot and what’s new".[117]

When she changed her hairstyle, Aaliyah took her mother’s advice and covered her left eye,

much like Veronica Lake.[118] The look has become known as her signature and been referred

to as fusion of "unnerving emotional honesty" and "a sense of mystique".[119] In 1998, she

hired a personal trainer to keep in shape, and exercised five days a week and ate diet

foods.[120] Aaliyah was praised for her "clean-cut image" and "moral values".[121] Robert

Christgau of The Village Voice wrote of Aaliyah’s artistry and image, "she was lithe and

dulcet in a way that signified neither jailbait nor hottie—an ingenue whose selling point

was sincerity, not innocence and the obverse it implies."[122]

Aaliyah was viewed by others as a role model. Emil Wilbekin, described by CNN as "a friend

of Aaliyah’s" and follower of her career, explained: "Aaliyah is an excellent role model,

because she started her career in the public eye at age 15 with a gold album entitled Age

Ain’t Nothing but a Number. And then her second album, One in a Million went double

platinum. She had the leading role in Romeo Must Die, which was a box office success. She’s

won numerous awards, several MTV music video awards, and aside from her professional

successes, many of her lyrics are very inspirational and uplifting. She also carried herself

in a very professional manner. She was well spoken. She was beautiful, but she didn’t use

her beauty to sell her music. She used her talent. Many young hip-hop fans greatly admire

her."[123]

She also was seen by others as a sex symbol. Aaliyah did not have a problem with being

considered one. "I know that people think I’m sexy and I am looked at as that, and it is

cool with me," she stated. "It’s wonderful to have sex appeal. If you embrace it, it can be

a very beautiful thing. I am totally cool with that. Definitely. I see myself as sexy. If

you are comfortable with it, it can be very classy and it can be very appealing."[124] The

single "We Need a Resolution" was argued to have transformed "the once tomboy into a sexy

grown woman".[125] Aaliyah mentioned that her mother, during her childhood, would take

pictures of her and notice a sex appeal. She reinforced her mother’s belief by saying that

she did feel "sexy for sure" and that she embraced it and was comfortable with this view of

her.[54]

Personal life

In her spare time, she was mostly a homebody, which dated back to her younger years, but on

occasion went out and played laser tag. She reasoned this was due to her liking "the simple

things in life".[54] Despite having a prosperous career that allowed her to purchase the

vehicle she wanted, Aaliyah revealed during her final interview on August 21, 2001 on 106 &

Park that she had never owned a car because she lived in New York City and could hire a car

or driver on a regular basis.[126]

Family

Aaliyah’s family played a major role in the course of her career.[54] Aaliyah’s father

Michael Haughton served as her personal manager. Her mother assisted her in her career while

brother Rashad Haughton and cousin Jomo Hankerson worked with her consistently.[127] Her

father’s illness ended his co-management of Aaliyah with her mother Diane Haughton. She ran

all of her decisions by Rashad.[54]

Aaliyah was known to have usually been accompanied by members of her family and the "Rock

the Boat" filming was credited by Rashad Haughton as being the first and only time her

family was not present. In October 2001, Rashad stated: "It really boggles everyone [that]

from Day One, every single video she ever shot there’s always been myself or my mother or my

father there. The circumstances surrounding this last video were really strange because my

mother had eye surgery and couldn’t fly. That really bothered her because she always

traveled. My dad had to take care of my mom at that time. And I went to Australia to visit

some friends. We really couldn’t understand why we weren’t there. You ask yourself maybe we

could have stopped it. But you can’t really answer the question. There’s always gonna be

that question of why."[128] Her friend Kidada Jones said in the last year of her life her

parents had given her more freedom and she had talked about wanting a family. "She wanted to

have a family, and we talked about how we couldn’t wait to kick back with our babies."[129]

Gladys Knight, who had been married to Aaliyah’s uncle Barry Hankerson, was essential to the

start of Aaliyah’s career as she gave her many of her earlier performances. One of their

last conversations concerned Aaliyah having difficulty with "another young artist" that she

was trying to work with. Knight felt the argument was "petty" and insisted that she remain

being who she was in spite of the conflict.[130]

Illegal marriage

With the release of Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number, rumors circulated of a relationship

between Aaliyah and R. Kelly,[14][131] including the allegation that they had secretly

married without her parents’ knowledge,[132][133][134][135] Vibe later revealed a marriage

certificate that listed the couple married on August 31, 1994, in Sheraton Gateway Suites in

Rosemont, Illinois.[14][133] Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time, was listed as 18 on the

certificate; the illegal marriage was annulled in February 1995 by her parents.[20][133]

[136] The pair continued to deny marriage allegations, stating that neither was married.

[131]

Aaliyah reportedly developed a friendship with Kelly during the recording of her debut

album. As she recalled to Vibe magazine in 1994, she and Kelly would "go watch a movie" and

"go eat" when she got tired and would then "come back and work". She described the

relationship between her and Kelly as being "rather close."[137] In 2016, Kelly said that he

was as in love with Aaliyah as he was with "anybody else."[138] In December 1994, Aaliyah

told the Sun-Times that whenever she was asked about being married to Kelly, she urged them

not to believe "all that mess" and that she and Kelly were "close" and "people took it the

wrong way."[139] In his 2011 book The Man Behind the Man: Looking From the Inside Out,

Demetrius Smith Sr., a former member of Kelly’s entourage, wrote that Kelly told him "in a

voice that sounded as if he wanted to burst into tears" that he thought Aaliyah was

pregnant.[140]

Jamie Foster Brown in the 1994 issue of Sister 2 Sister wrote that "R. Kelly told me that he

and Aaliyah got together and it was just magic." Brown also reported hearing about a

relationship between them. "I’ve been hearing about Robert and Aaliyah for a while—that she

was pregnant. Or that she was coming and going in and out of his house. People would see her

walking his dog, 12 Play, with her basketball cap and sunglasses on. Every time I asked the

label, they said it was platonic. But I kept hearing complaints from people about her being

in the studio with all those men." Brown later added "at 15, you have all those hormones and

no brains attached to them."[141]

The 2019 documentary Surviving R. Kelly revealed new details about their relationship and

marriage. Jovante Cunningham, a former backup dancer, claimed to have witnessed Kelly having

sex with Aaliyah on his tour bus[142][143] while Demetrius Smith again recounted the time

Kelly feared that he had impregnated her.[142] Smith also described how he helped Aaliyah

forge the necessary documents to show she was 18 and that the wedding was short and

unceremonious, as neither was dressed up and Aaliyah looked "worried and scared" the whole

time.[142] Smith states that he is "not proud" of his role in facilitating their illegal

marriage.[142]

Aaliyah admitted in court documents that she had lied about her age. In May 1997, she filed

suit in Cook County seeking to have all records of the marriage expunged because she was not

old enough under state law to get married without her parents’ consent. It was reported that

she cut off all professional and personal ties with Kelly after the marriage was annulled

and ceased having contact with him.[144] In 2014, Jomo Hankerson stated that Aaliyah "got

villainized" over her relationship with Kelly and the scandal over the marriage made it

difficult to find producers for her second album. "We were coming off of a multi-platinum

debut album and except for a couple of relationships with Jermaine Dupri and Puffy, it was

hard for us to get producers on the album." Hankerson also expressed confusion over why

"they were upset" with Aaliyah given her age at the time.[145]

Aaliyah was known to avoid answering questions regarding Kelly following the professional

split. During an interview with Christopher John Farley, she was asked if she was still in

contact with him and if she would ever work with him again. Farley said Aaliyah responded

with a "firm, frosty ‘no’" to both of the questions.[146] Vibe magazine said Aaliyah changed

the subject anytime "you bring up the marriage with her".[147] A spokeswoman for Aaliyah

said in 2000 that when "R. Kelly comes up, she doesn’t even speak his name, and nobody’s

allowed to ask about it at all".[148] Kelly later commented that Aaliyah had opportunities

to address the pair’s relationship after they separated professionally but chose not to.

[149] In 2019, Damon Dash revealed to Hip Hop Motivation that Aaliyah didn’t even speak of

her relationship with Kelly in private; she tried multiple times to discuss it with him, but

was only able to find the courage to say that Kelly was a "bad man".[143] She told him that

she could only possibly discuss the relationship with a professional counselor.[143] Dash

said he was unable to watch Surviving R. Kelly because its interviews with visibly

traumatized girls struggling to discuss their encounters with Kelly reminded him of how

Aaliyah behaved when trying to recount her relationship with Kelly.[143]

R. Kelly would have other allegations made about him regarding underage girls in the years

following her death and his marriage to Aaliyah was used to evidence his involvement with

them. He has refused to discuss his relationship with her, citing her death. "Out of respect

for her, and her mom and her dad, I will not discuss Aaliyah. That was a whole other

situation, a whole other time, it was a whole other thing, and I’m sure that people also

know that."[150] Aaliyah’s mother, Diane Haughton, reflected that everything "that went

wrong in her life" began with her relationship with Kelly.[139] Damon Dash also noted that

lasting trauma from her relationship with Kelly negatively affected their relationship.[143]

However, the allegations have been said to have done "little to taint Aaliyah’s image or

prevent her from becoming a reliable ’90s hitmaker with viable sidelines in movies and

modeling."[32]

Engagement

Aaliyah was dating co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records Damon Dash at the time of her death

and, though they were not formally engaged, in interviews given after Aaliyah’s death, Dash

claimed the couple had planned to marry.[151] Aaliyah and Dash met in 2000[152] through his

accountant and formed a friendship.[153] Dash has said he is unsure of how he and Aaliyah

started dating and that the two just understood each other. "I don’t know [how we got

involved], just spending time, you know, we just saw things the same and it was new, you

know what I mean? Meeting someone that is trying to do the same thing you are doing in the

urban market, in the same urban market place but not really being so urban. It was just; her

mind was where my mind was. She understood me and she got my jokes. She thought my jokes

were funny."[154]

Dash expressed his belief that Aaliyah was the "one" and claimed the pair were not

officially engaged, but had spoken about getting married prior to her death.[155] Aaliyah

publicly never addressed the relationship between her and Dash as being anything but

platonic. In May 2001, she hosted a party for Dash’s 30th birthday at a New York City club,

where they were spotted together and Dash was seen escorting her to a bathroom. Addressing

this, Aaliyah stated that she and Dash were just "very good friends" and chose to "keep it

at that" for the time being.[147] Just two weeks before her death, Aaliyah traveled from New

Jersey to East Hampton, New York to visit Dash at the summer house he shared with Jay Z.

[129]

The couple were separated for long periods at a time, as Dash recalled that Aaliyah

continuously shot films and would be gone for months often to come back shortly and continue

her schedule. Dash was also committed to "his own thing", which did not make matters any

better. Despite this, they were understanding that the time they had together was special.

Dash remembered they would "be in a room full of people talking to each other and it felt

like everyone was listening but it would be just us. It would be like we were the only ones

in the room". Dash always felt their time together was essential and Aaliyah was the person

he was interested in being with, which is why, as he claimed, they had begun speaking about

engagement.[153] The relationship was mentioned in the lyrics of Jay-Z’s remix to her song

"Miss You", released after her death.

Death

Main article: Death of Aaliyah

On August 25, 2001, at 6:50 p.m. (EDT), Aaliyah and the members of the record company

boarded a twin-engine Cessna 402B (registration N8097W) at the Marsh Harbour Airport in

Abaco Islands, the Bahamas, to travel to the Opa-locka Airport in Florida, after they

completed filming the music video for "Rock the Boat".[156] They had a flight scheduled the

following day, but with filming finishing early, Aaliyah and her entourage were eager to

return to the U.S. and made the decision to leave immediately. The designated airplane was

smaller than the Cessna 404 on which they had originally arrived, but the whole party and

all of the equipment were accommodated on board.[157] The plane crashed shortly after

takeoff, about 200 feet (60 m) from the end of the runway and exploded.[156]

Aaliyah and the eight others on board—pilot Luis Morales III, hair stylist Eric Forman,

Anthony Dodd, security guard Scott Gallin, family friend Keith Wallace, make-up stylist

Christopher Maldonado, and Blackground Records employees Douglas Kratz and Gina Smith—were

all killed.[158] Gallin survived the initial impact and spent his last moments worrying

about Aaliyah’s condition, according to ambulance drivers.[159] The plane was identified as

being owned by Florida-based company Skystream by the US Federal Aviation Administration

(FAA) in Atlanta. Initial reports of the crash identified Luis Morales as "L Marael".[160]

According to findings from an inquest conducted by the coroner’s office in the Bahamas,

Aaliyah suffered from "severe burns and a blow to the head", in addition to severe shock and

a weak heart.[161] The coroner theorized that she went into such a state of shock that even

if she had survived the crash, her recovery would have been nearly impossible given the

severity of her injuries.[162] The bodies were taken to the morgue at Princess Margaret

Hospital in Nassau, where they were kept for relatives to help identify them. Some of the

bodies were badly burned in the crash.[163]

As the subsequent investigation determined, when the aircraft attempted to depart, it was

over its maximum take-off weight by 700 pounds (320 kg) and was carrying one excess

passenger, according to its certification.[164] An informational report issued by the

National Transportation Safety Board stated, "The airplane was seen lifting off the runway,

and then nose down, impacting in a marsh on the south side of the departure end of runway

27."[165] It indicated that the pilot was not approved to fly the plane. Morales falsely

obtained his FAA license by showing hundreds of hours never flown, and he may also have

falsified how many hours he had flown in order to get a job with his employer, Blackhawk

International Airways.[166] Additionally, toxicology tests performed on Morales revealed

traces of cocaine and alcohol in his system.[167]

Aaliyah’s funeral services were held on August 31, 2001, at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral

Chapel and St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Manhattan. Her body was set in a silver-plated

copper-deposit casket, which was carried in a glass horse-drawn hearse.[168] An estimated

800 mourners were in attendance at the procession.[20][169] Among those in attendance at the

private ceremony were Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Gladys Knight, Lil’ Kim and Sean Combs.

[168][170][171] After the service, 22 white doves were released to symbolize each year of

Aaliyah’s life.[172] Aaliyah was initially entombed in a crypt at the Ferncliff Mausoleum in

Hartsdale, New York; she was later moved to a private room at the left end of a corridor in

the Rosewood Mausoleum.[173] The inscription at the bottom of Aaliyah’s portrait at the

funeral read: "We Were Given a Queen, We Were Given an Angel."[174]

After Aaliyah’s death, the German newspaper Die Zeit published excerpts from an interview

done shortly before her death, in which she described a recurring dream: "It is dark in my

favorite dream. Someone is following me. I don’t know why. I’m scared. Then suddenly I lift

off. Far away. How do I feel? As if I am swimming in the air. Free. Weightless. Nobody can

reach me. Nobody can touch me. It’s a wonderful feeling."[175]

Posthumous career

Immediately after Aaliyah’s death, there was uncertainty over whether the music video for

"Rock the Boat" would ever air.[176] It made its world premiere on BET’s Access Granted on

October 9, 2001. She won two posthumous awards at the American Music Awards of 2002;

Favorite Female R&B Artist and Favorite R&B/Soul Album for Aaliyah.[177] Her second and

final film, Queen of the Damned, was released in February 2002. Before its release,

Aaliyah’s brother, Rashad, re-dubbed some of her lines during post-production.[178][179] It

grossed US$15.2 million in its first weekend, ranking number one at the box office.[180] On

the first anniversary of Aaliyah’s death, a candlelight vigil was held in Times Square;

millions of fans observed a moment of silence; and throughout the United States, radio

stations played her music in remembrance.[181] In December 2002, a collection of previously

unreleased material was released as Aaliyah’s first posthumous album, I Care 4 U. A portion

of the proceeds was donated to the Aaliyah Memorial Fund, a program that benefits the Revlon

UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program and Harlem’s Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.[182] It

debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 280,000 copies in its first week.[183]

The album’s lead single, "Miss You", peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and

topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[70] In August of the following year, clothing

retailer Christian Dior donated profits from sales in honor of Aaliyah.[184]

In 2005, Aaliyah’s second compilation album, Ultimate Aaliyah was released in the UK by

Blackground Records.[185] Ultimate Aaliyah is a three disc set, which included a greatest

hits audio CD and a DVD.[185] Andy Kellman of AllMusic remarked "Ultimate Aaliyah adequately

represents the shortened career of a tremendous talent who benefited from some of the best

songwriting and production work by Timbaland, Missy Elliott, and R. Kelly."[185] A

documentary movie Aaliyah Live in Amsterdam was released in 2011, shortly before the tenth

anniversary of Aaliyah’s death. The documentary, by Pogus Caesar, contained previously

unseen footage shot of her career beginnings in 1995 when she was appearing in the

Netherlands.[186]

In March 2012, music producer Jeffrey "J-Dub" Walker announced on his Twitter account that a

song "Steady Ground", which he produced for Aaliyah’s third album, would be included in the

forthcoming posthumous Aaliyah album. This second proposed posthumous album would feature

this song using demo vocals, as Walker claims the originals were somehow lost by his sound

engineer. Aaliyah’s brother Rashad later refuted Walker’s claim, claiming that "no official

album [is] being released and supported by the Haughton family."[187] On August 5, 2012, a

song entitled "Enough Said" was released online. The song was produced by Noah "40" Shebib

and features Canadian rapper Drake.[188] Four days later, Jomo Hankerson confirmed a

posthumous album is being produced and that it was scheduled to be released by the end of

2012 by Blackground Records.[189] The album was reported to include 16 unreleased songs and

have contributions from Aaliyah’s longtime collaborators Timbaland and Missy Elliott, among

others.[189] On August 13, Timbaland and Missy Elliott dismissed rumors about being

contacted or participating for the project.[190] Elliott’s manager Mona Scott-Young said in

a statement to XXL, "Although Missy and Timbaland always strive to keep the memory of their

close friend alive, we have not been contacted about the project nor are there any plans at

this time to participate. We’ve seen the reports surfacing that they have been confirmed to

participate but that is not the case. Both Missy and Timbaland are very sensitive to the

loss still being felt by the family so we wanted to clear up any misinformation being

circulated."[190] Elliott herself said, "Tim and I carry Aaliyah with us everyday, like so

many of the people who love her. She will always live in our hearts. We have nothing but

love and respect for her memory and for her loved ones left behind still grieving her loss.

They are always in our prayers."[190]

In June 2013, Aaliyah was featured on a new track by Chris Brown, titled "Don’t Think They

Know"; with Aaliyah singing the song’s hook. The video features dancing holographic versions

of Aaliyah. The song appears on Brown’s sixth studio album, X.[191] Timbaland voiced his

disapproval for "Enough Said" and "Don’t Think They Know" in July 2013. He exclaimed,

"Aaliyah music only work with its soulmate, which is me".[192] Soon after, Timbaland

apologized to Chris Brown over his remarks, which he explained were made due to Aaliyah and

her death being a "very sensitive subject".[193] In January 2014, producer Noah "40" Shebib

confirmed that the posthumous album was shelved due to the negative reception surrounding

Drake’s involvement. Shebib added, "Aaliyah’s mother saying, ‘I don’t want this out’ was

enough for me … I walked away very quickly."[194][195]

Aaliyah’s vocals were reported to be featured on the T-Pain mixtape, The Iron Way, on the

track "Girlfriend", but were pulled after being met with criticism by fans and many in

attendance at a New York listening session that he hosted for the project. In response to

the criticism, T-Pain questioned if Aaliyah’s legacy was driven by her death and claimed

that were she still alive, she would be seen as trying to emulate Beyoncé.[196] According to

T-Pain, he was given her vocals from a session she had done prior to her death after being

approached to work on a track for a posthumous Aaliyah album and completing the song,

calling the exchange "just like a swap."[197]

She was featured on the Tink track "Million", which was released in May 2015 and contained

samples from her song "One in a Million".[198] Collaborator Timbaland was involved in the

song’s creation, having previously claimed that Aaliyah appeared to him in a dream and

stressed that Tink was "the one".[199]

In August 2015, Timbaland confirmed that he had unreleased vocals from Aaliyah and stated a

"sneak peek" would be coming soon.[200][201]

In September 2015, Aaliyah by Xyrena, an official tribute fragrance was announced.[202]

On December 19, 2015, Timbaland uploaded a snippet of a new Aaliyah song title "He Keeps Me

Shakin" on his Instagram account and said it would be released December 25, 2015, on the

Timbaland mixtape King Stays King.[203] On August 24, 2017 MAC Cosmetics announced that an

Aaliyah collection will be made available in the summer of 2018.[204] The Aaliyah for Mac

collection was released on June 20 online and June 21 in stores, along with the MAC

collection, MAC and i-D Magazine partnered up to release a short film titled "A-Z of

Aaliyah" which coincided with the launch.[205] The short film highlighted and celebrated the

legacy of Aaliyah with the help of select fans who were selected to be a part of the film

through a casting call competition held by Mac and i-d magazine.[206] The Aaliyah for Mac

collectors box was sold at $250 and it sold out within minutes during the first day of its

initial release.[207]

Legacy and influence

Aaliyah has been credited for helping redefine R&B, pop and hip hop in the 1990s, "leaving

an indelible imprint on the music industry as a whole."[1][89][208] According to Billboard,

Aaliyah revolutionized R&B with her sultry mix of pop, soul and hip hop.[209] In a 2001

review of her eponymous album, Rolling Stone professed that Aaliyah’s impact on R&B and pop

has been enormous.[210] Steve Huey of AllMusic wrote Aaliyah ranks among the "elite" artists

of the R&B genre, as she "played a major role in popularizing the stuttering, futuristic

production style that consumed hip-hop and urban soul in the late 1990s."[211] Bruce Britt

of "music world" on Broadcast Music, Inc’s. website stated that by combining "schoolgirl

charm with urban grit", Aaliyah helped define the teen-oriented sound that has resulted in

contemporary pop phenom’s like Brandy, Christina Aguilera and Destiny’s Child.[212]

Described as one of "R&B’s most important artists" during the 1990s,[213] her second studio

album, One in a Million, became one of the most influential R&B albums of the decade.[33]

Music critic Simon Reynolds cited "Are You That Somebody?" as "the most radical pop single"

of 1998. Kelefah Sanneh of The New York Times wrote that rather than being the song’s focal

point, Aaliyah "knew how to disappear into the music, how to match her voice to the bass

line", and consequently "helped change the way popular music sounds; the twitchy, beat-

driven songs of Destiny’s Child owe a clear debt to ‘Are You That Somebody’." Sanneh

asserted that by the time of her death in 2001, Aaliyah "had recorded some of the most

innovative and influential pop songs of the last five years."[101] Music publication Popdust

called Aaliyah an unlikely queen of the underground due mainly to her influence on the

underground alternative music scene, which consists of heavy sampling and references to her

music by underground artists. Popdust also mentioned that the forward-thinking music Aaliyah

did with Timbaland and the experimental music being made by many underground alternative

artists are somewhat cut from the same cloth.[214] While compiling a list of artists that

take cues from Aaliyah, MTV Hive mentioned that it’s easy to spot her influence on

underground movements like dubstep, strains of indie pop, and lo-fi R&B movements.[215] With

sales of 8.1 million albums in the United States and an estimated 24 to 32 million albums

worldwide,[216][217][218][219][220] Aaliyah earned the nicknames "Princess of R&B" and

"Queen of Urban Pop",[221][222] as she "proved she was a muse in her own right".[223] Ernest

Hardy of Rolling Stone dubbed her as the "undisputed queen of the midtempo come-on".[19]

Aaliyah has been referred to as a pop icon and a R&B icon for her impact and contributions

to those respective genres.[224][225] Japanese pop singer Hikaru Utada has said several

times that "It was when I heard Aaliyah’s Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number that I got hooked

on R&B.", after which Utada released her debut album First Love with heavy R&B influences.

[226][227] Another Japanese pop singer Crystal Kay has expressed how she admired Aaliyah

when she was growing up and how she would practice dancing while watching her music videos.

[228]

Aaliyah was honored at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards by Janet Jackson, Missy Elliott,

Timbaland, Ginuwine and her brother, Rashad, who all paid tribute to her.[229] In the same

year, the United States Social Security Administration ranked the name Aaliyah one of the

100 most popular names for newborn girls.[230] Aaliyah was ranked as one of "The Top 40

Women of the Video Era" in VH1’s 2003 The Greatest series.[231][232] She was also ranked at

number 18 on BET’s "Top 25 Dancers of All Time".[233] Aaliyah appeared on both 2000 and 2001

list of Maxim Hot 100 in position 41 and the latter at 14.[234][235] In 2002 VH1 created the

100 sexiest artist list and Aaliyah was ranked at number 36.[236] In memory of Aaliyah, the

Entertainment Industry Foundation created the Aaliyah Memorial Fund to donate money raised

to charities she supported.[237][238] In December 2009, Billboard magazine ranked Aaliyah at

number 70 on its Top Artists of the Decade,[239] while her eponymous album was ranked at

number 181 on the magazine’s Top 200 Albums of the Decade.[240] She is listed by Billboard

as the tenth most successful female R&B artist of the past 25 years, and 27th most

successful R&B artist overall.[241] In 2012, VH1 ranked her number 48 in "VH1’s Greatest

Women in Music".[242] Also in 2012, Aaliyah was ranked at number 10 on Complex magazine’s

100 hottest female singers of all-time list[243] and number 22 on their 90 hottest women of

the 90’s list.[244] In 2014, NME ranked Aaliyah at number 18 on NME’s 100 most influential

artist list.[245] Aaliyah’s dress that she wore at the 2000 MTV Video Music Award’s was

featured in the most memorable fashion moments at the VMA’s list by the fashion publication

Harper’s Bazaar.[246] In October 2015 Aaliyah was featured in the 10 women who became Denim

Style icons list created by the fashion publication Vogue.[247] In August 2018 Billboard

ranked Aaliyah at number 47 on their Top 60 Female Artists of All-Time list.[248]

Aaliyah’s music has influenced numerous artists including Adele,[249] The Weeknd,[250]

Ciara,[251] Beyoncé,[252] Monica,[253] Chris Brown,[191] Rihanna,[254] Azealia Banks,[255]

Sevyn Streeter,[256] Keyshia Cole,[257] J. Cole,[258] Ryan Destiny[259] Kelly Rowland,[260]

Zendaya,[261] Rita Ora,[262] The xx,[263][264][265] Arctic Monkeys,[266] Speedy Ortiz,[267]

Chelsea Wolfe,[268] Haim,[269] Angel Haze,[270] Kiesza,[271] Naya Rivera,[272] Normani[273]

Cassie,[274][275] Hayley Williams,[276] Jessie Ware,[277] Yeasayer,[278] Bebe Rexha,[279]

Omarion,[280] and Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander.[281] Canadian R&B singer Keshia

Chanté who was said to play as her in her pending biopic back in 2008, complimented the

singer’s futuristic style in music and fashion.[282] Chanté backed out of the biopic after

speaking to Diane Haughton, but has expressed a willingness to do the project if "the right

production comes along and the family’s behind it". Chanté also mentioned that Aaliyah had

been part of her life "since I was 6."[283] R&B singer and friend Brandy said about the late

singer "She came out before Monica and I did, she was our inspiration. At the time, record

companies did not believe in kid acts and it was just inspiring to see someone that was

winning and winning being themselves. When I met her I embraced her, I was so happy to meet

her."[284] Rapper Drake said that the singer has had the biggest influence on his career. He

also has a tattoo of the singer on his back.[285] Solange Knowles remarked on the tenth

anniversary of her death that she idolized Aaliyah and proclaimed that she would never be

forgotten.[286] Adam Levine, the lead vocalist of the pop rock group Maroon 5, remembers

that listening to "Are You That Somebody?" convinced him to pursue a more soulful sound than

that of his then-band Kara’s Flowers.[287] Erika Ramirez, an associate editor of Billboard,

said at the time of Aaliyah’s career "there weren’t many artists using the kind of soft

vocals the ways she was using it, and now you see a lot of artists doing that and finding

success," her reasoning for Aaliyah’s continued influence on current artists. She argued

that Aaliyah’s second album One in a Million was "very much ahead of its time, with the bass

and electro kind of R&B sounds that they produced", referring to collaborators Timbaland and

Missy Elliott and that the sound, which "really stood out" at its time, was being

replicated.[288]

In 2012, British singer-songwriter Katy B released the song Aaliyah as a tribute to

Aaliyah’s legacy and lasting impression on R&B music.[289] The song first appeared on Katy

B’s Danger EP and featured Jessie Ware on guest vocals. In 2016, Swedish singer-songwriter

Erik Hassle released a song titled "If Your Man Only Knew" which serves as a tribute to

Aaliyah’s 1996 single "If Your Girl Only Knew".[290]

There has been continuing belief that Aaliyah would have achieved greater career success had

it not been for her death. Emil Wilbekin mentioned the deaths of The Notorious B.I.G. and

Tupac Shakur in conjunction with hers and added: "Her just-released third album and

scheduled role in a sequel to The Matrix could have made her another Janet Jackson or

Whitney Houston".[291] Director of Queen of the Damned Michael Rymer said of Aaliyah, "God,

that girl could have gone so far" and spoke of her having "such a clarity about what she

wanted. Nothing was gonna step in her way. No ego, no nervousness, no manipulation. There

was nothing to stop her."[292]

On July 18, 2014, it was announced that Alexandra Shipp replaced Zendaya for the role of

Aaliyah for the Lifetime TV biopic movie Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B,

Posted by Los Toros on 2019-07-20 05:06:06

Tagged:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights