Aaliyah, or known as “Princess of R&B”, has been ranked by Billboard as the 10th most thriving female R&B artist in the past 25 years. She was an American singer, also an actress and model, who set records with her album “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number”. Learn more about the singer, who died young when she was just 22 years old in a tragic accident.
1. Aaliyah, meaning “premier and dignified one” in Arabic, was born as Aaliyah Dana Haughton on January 16, 1979 in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
2. She did her schooling from the esteemed Detroit High School where she got admissions by singing the song “Ave Maria” in Italian.
3. Aaliyah was given admission to voice lessons even before she joined school, by her mother, who was very sure about her singing qualities.
4. Growing up, she often used to sing for natives at the shelter her father started for homeless people.
5. Aaliyah also had a hard-hitting start to her career, just like the others. In the year 1989 she appeared on Star Search, an American television show, and performed the song “My Funny Valentine”, but lost the contest and ended up in tears.
6. At just 11, she performed with Gladys Knight (her aunt), who also appeared with her on Star Search, at Bally’s Last Vegas casino, for five nights.
7. At 12, she signed a contract with Jive Records and Blackground Records, making R. Kelly her mentor. He also wrote and produced her debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number”.
8. The same album was ranked as double platinum by RIAA and sold 3 million copies in the United States.
9. She ended her contract with Jive and signed up with Atlantic Records later when rumors surfaced of her marrying R. Kelly, ranked as an illegal marriage.
10. She was a big Harry Potter books and Veronica Lake’s fan. Therefore, her mother Diana asked her to try doing a hair-do like Veronica, covering her one eye with hair.
11. She was a great pet lover and grew up with dogs, ducks and iguanas around. She was also very close to her brother, Rashad. He best friend was Quincy Jones’ daughter, named Kidada.
12. She closely worked with record producers Missy Elliott and Timbaland for her second album, One in a Million, which was a big hit as well and sold 3.7 million copies in U.S. and 8 million copies worldwide.
13. Once she entered into a bet with Missy on who will wear a dress first between them. They both never use to wear dresses.
14. Aaliyah also tried her hands at acting and her first film was “Romeo Must Die” in the year 2000. The film had her famous track “Try Again”, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart exclusively on airplay, creating a history and winning her a Grammy nomination. Prior to films, she also auditioned for the TV Series “Family Matters”.
15. Next followed was her role in the film “Queen of the Damned”. Post this, she released her final album Aaliyah, in July 2001.
16. In 1996, she appeared in the campaign for Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy Jeans, which became quite popular.
17. In 1998, Aaliyah also performed at the White House during Christmas. Then, Mr. Bill Clinton was the President.
18. She set records as the “Youngest Musical Artist to Perform at the Oscars” in 1997. At 19, she performed her song “Journey to the Past,” from the movie Anastasia, which was nominated with Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic.
19. With her BFF Kidada, she was planning to launch a Japanese inspired clothing line especially for girls. It was to be named as Dolly Pop.
20. After the filming of her single “Rock the Boat” in the Bahamas, on August 25, 2001, the singer with 8 others, was killed in a plane crash.