Aaliyah (full name Aaliyah Dana Haughton) was born on January 16, 1979, better known simply as her stage name Aaliyah, was an American R&B singer, dancer, fashion model and actress.
Biography and Career :
Introduced to audiences by R&B singer R. Kelly, Aaliyah became famous in her own right during the mid-1990s with several hit records from the songwriting/production team of Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott and Timbaland, and their associate Steve "Static" Garrett.
Aaliyah is notable for recording several hit records, including five number one R&B hits, one number one pop hit, and seven top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, Aaliyah sold over 24 million records worldwide during her career. The singer also modeled for Tommy Hilfiger and starred in two motion pictures before her
death in a plane crash in 2001 at the age of 22.
She was born in Brooklyn, New York to Michael and Diane Haughton; one of her grandmothers was part Native American. Her name is Arabic for the high and exalted. She grew up in Detroit, Michigan where she attended various schools including the Detroit High School for Fine and Performing Arts. Aaliyah signed with her uncle Barry Hankerson's Blackground label in 1993 and released her debut album, titled Age Ain't Nothing but a Number, in 1994. The album went platinum within months, and featured the gold-selling singles "Back and Forth" (number one U.S. R&B, 3 weeks), and "At Your Best (You Are Love)" (number two U.S. R&B), a cover of the 1976 Isley Brothers single. The album went on to reach double platinum status with sales of over two million copies in the U.S. and five million worldwide.
In 1997, Aaliyah appeared on the soundtrack album for the Fox Animation Studios animated feature Anastasia, singing the pop version of "Journey to the Past". The song was nominated for an Academy Award, and Aaliyah performed the song at the 1997 Academy Awards ceremony, making history. Aaliyah became the youngest female recording artist to perform at the ceremony.
Aaliyah had a huge hit in 1998 with "Are You that Somebody" (number one U.S. R&B airplay, eight weeks), the main single from the Dr. Dolittle soundtrack. Its video was the third most-played on MTV that year, and the song's success helped make Aaliyah a household name. The single was a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart.
In 2000, she co-starred with Jet Li in the martial-arts film Romeo Must Die, which debuted at number two at the box office. Aaliyah and Timbaland executive produced the film's soundtrack album and Aaliyah contributed four songs: "Are you Feelin' Me?," "I Don't Wanna," "Back in One Piece," a duet with DMX, and the international number one hit "Try Again." Aaliyah made history once again with her hit single "Try Again." It became the first song in history to ever reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 based solely on the strength of its radio airplay, without any single sales factored. After the huge success of "Try Again" at radio, a 12" maxi single was released for consumer purchase. The radio-only single, "I Don't Wanna", peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number five on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
In 2001, Aaliyah went to Australia to co-star with Stuart Townsend in the film Queen of the Damned, an adaptation of the Anne Rice novel of the same name. While filming Queen of the Damned, Aaliyah also recorded most of her third studio album, Aaliyah.
She passed away in August 25, 2001.
- Aaliyah and former Beatle George Harrison made UK Chart History in January 2002 when they scored the first, and to this date only, back-to-back posthumous number one hits. Aaliyah's "More than a Woman", released on January 7 and topped the chart on January 13, was followed by Harrison's "My Sweet Lord", re-released on January 14 and topped the chart on January 20.
- Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails was to produce a song on Aaliyah's last album, Aaliyah, but scheduling conflicts did not permit the collaboration.
- In early/mid 2005 four previously unreleased Aaliyah tracks were leaked to the Internet: a remake of Gladys Knight & the Pips' "Giving Up", "Where Could He Be" featuring Missy Elliot and Tweet (which was sent to radio stations), "Steady Ground" featuring Static from Playa, and a duet with Digital Black from Playa entitled "Dont Think They Know".
- At age 19, Aaliyah was the first and youngest African-American woman to ever perform at the Oscars.
- Aaliyah was the face for Tommy Hilfiger's new line of street-but-sweet fashion in 1996-1997.
- In 1998, Aaliyah was the spokesperson for Clairol's hair product for women of color, Texture and Tones.
- Grammy-winning R&B singer Gladys Knight was Aaliyah's aunt by Knight's former marriage to Aaliyah's uncle, Barry Hankerson.
- Aaliyah is Arabic for "highest, most exalted one, the best."
- In January 2006, a new previously unreleased Aaliyah track was leaked to the Internet: "Time" (Snippet of Unfinished Song) produced by Timbaland, which was originally recorded for the soundtrack of 30 Years to Life (2002)
- Aaliyah's maternal grandmother, Mintis L. Hicks Hankerson, was a Native American
- Aaliyah was considered for the role of Alex in the 2000 film Charlie's Angels, but was too young at the time.
- The video "Take Away" is dedicated to her.
- Even though Aaliyah is featured in Notorious BIG's video "One More Chance", the vocals were done by Faith Evans.
In 1995 at age 15, Aaliyah performed the "National Anthem" live at Orlando Magic game.
Romeo Must Die (2000)
Queen Of The Damned (2002).