Full Name: Aaliyah Dani Haughton
Birth Date: January 16,1979
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died: August 25, 2001, Plane Crash
Height: 5' 7"
Quote: "I want people to remember me as a full on entertainer and a good person."
Aaliyah Haughton was born on January 16, 1979 in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of five, her family moved to Detroit where she started what seemed to be a promising career. Only time would tell if this upcoming star would live up to that aspiration and her name; which means "highest, most exalted one" in Swahili. This bright and rising star started her career with a voice that could be compared to those of Toni Braxton and Janet Jackson.
Aaliyah's talent was recognized at a young age when her mom secured the services of a voice teacher before the young girl even enrolled in school. Young Haughton spent her pre-teen years between singing in school plays and auditioning for various TV projects.
At the age of 9, she appeared on the television show Star Search where she sang My Funny Valentine as an homage to her mom. Just two years later, she went on a five-night stint singing with Gladys Knight's troupe in Las Vegas.
At this early stage in her career, Aaliyah already had relative success and some good connections to continue her rise to the top of Hollywood's fame. Her uncle Barry Hankerson was the CEO of the artist management company Blackground Enterprises.
In 1992, she met with R & B artist R. Kelly, who quickly took Aaliyah under his wing as they started working on various songs and recording projects. Aaliyah's debut album was launched in June of 1994. Titled Age Ain't Nothing But a Number, it topped the charts with the single Back and Forth, as well as with the remake of the Isley Brothers' hit At Your Best (You Are In Love) that reached the top five.
Rumors were saying that the young singer had something going on with Kelly, an allegation that both parties eventually denied. She toured the world pulling big crowds in Japan, Europe, South Africa and in the US. She decided to return home and pursue her studies in Performing Arts, while majoring in Dance.
Her time was devoted to performing as she made collaborative projects with Junior M.A.F.I.A., Kriss Kross, and she appeared on the Notorious B.I.G.'s video for One More Chance. She also recorded the sultry Are You Ready? for the Sunset Park soundtrack.
Aaliyah eventually decided to return to the studio to record her second album. She decided to surround herself with high-profiled artists, most notably Jermaine Dupri, Timbaland, and Slick Rick; which would obviously have for effect to spruce up her image.
Released in the summer of 1996, One in a Million brought Aaliyah to the next level in the industry standards, and she was not considered a side act anymore. She reached number one on the R & B singles chart with her single If Your Girl Only Knew. The album was certified double platinum after only ten months on the market, putting Aaliyah among the superstars of the music industry.
She was soon featured in Elle, Seventeen, and Cosmopolitan and turned her talent towards Hollywood when she recorded singles for the soundtracks for Dr. Doolittle and in Anastasia with the song Journey to the Past. She performed this last song at the Academy Awards being one of the youngest ever performers of an Oscar nominated song.
Aaliyah's song "Try Again" earned her a Grammy nomination for best female R&B vocalist. The song was featured in her debut film, Romeo Must Die.
In July 2001, her unexpected, but final self-titled album was released. With Aaliyah's growing popularity, the album was a hit the day it was released, and again proved her talent as an artist. Although everyone saw a bright future and many more years of music, dance, movies, and fame for this young woman, she suddenly died (August 25, 2001) in a small plane crash, along with 7 others after takeoff from the Bahamas.
The death of this multi-talented artist was tragic, and she will be deeply missed by many. But, she will live on through her music, the memories of her fans and those who were close to her.
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