Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Aaliyah Singer, fashion model, dancer, actress Romeo Must Die Matrix


A promotional photo of Aaliyah, taken on May 2001.
A promotional photo of Aaliyah, taken on May 2001.
Background information
Birth name     Aaliyah Dana Haughton
Also known as     Baby Girl
Born     January 16, 1979
Flag of United States Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died     August 25, 2001
Flag of The Bahamas Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas age 22
Genre(s)     R&B, Hip hop soul, Pop, Nu-metal
Occupation(s)     Singer, fashion model, dancer, actress
Years active     1994–2001
Label(s)     Blackground
acts     Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Static, R. Kelly, Ginuwine, Tweet

Aaliyah Dana Haughton (January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001), known professionally as Aaliyah, was an American R&B singer, dancer, model, and actress. She was a Grammy Award-winning recording artist (Won first Grammy in 2003 nearly 2 years after death. Introduced to audiences by R&B singer R. Kelly, Aaliyah became famous during the mid-1990s with several hit records from the songwriting/production team of Missy Elliott and Timbaland, and their associate Steve "Static" Garrett.

Notable for recording several hit records, including several number one R&B hits, a number one pop hit, and nine top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, She also modeled for Tommy Hilfiger and starred in two motion pictures before her death in a 2001 plane crash at the age of 22.

    * 1 Early years
    * 2 Age Ain't Nothing But a Number (1994)
    * 3 One in a Million (1996)
    * 4 Movie roles and soundtracks
    * 5 Aaliyah (2001)
    * 6 "More Than A Woman" and "Rock the Boat"
    * 7 Death
          o 7.1 Investigation
    * 8 Legacy
          o 8.1 Aaliyah's Name in Songs
          o 8.2 Unfinished Films
          o 8.3 I Care 4 U (2002)
    * 9 Aaliyah in the mid-2000s
    * 10 Facts
    * 11 Discography
          o 11.1 Albums
          o 11.2 Singles
    * 12 Awards
          o 12.1 1995
          o 12.2 1999
          o 12.3 2000
          o 12.4 2001
          o 12.5 2002
          o 12.6 2003
    * 13 Filmography
          o 13.1 Unfinished films
    * 14 See also
    * 15 References
    * 16 External links
Early years

Aaliyah (pronounced as Ah-lee-yah) Dana Haughton was born in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York on January 16, 1979 to Michael and Diane Haughton, and was raised in Detroit, Michigan. Her name means "Highest, Most Exalted, The Best" in Arabic. Aaliyah was brought up as a Roman Catholic with her older brother Rashad Haughton. Diane Haughton, Aaliyah's mother, also a vocalist, encouraged Aaliyah's career. Her uncle, Barry Hankerson, is a prominent individual in the music industry and Aaliyah's aunt, through marriage to Hankerson, is Gladys Knight, a legendary soul singer with Gladys Knight & the Pips.

Aaliyah appeared on the TV talent show program Star Search at age ten, singing her mother's favorite song, "My Funny Valentine."[1] Although she did not win, Aaliyah worked with an agent in New York and began to attend auditions for TV shows, including Family Matters.

Following her appearance on Star Search Aaliyah performed on stage in Las Vegas with Gladys Knight. In her early teens, Aaliyah attended the Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts, and graduated as a dance major with a 4.0 GPA.[2]

Age Ain't Nothing But a Number (1994)
Cover of Age Ain't Nothing but a Number
Cover of Age Ain't Nothing but a Number

Aaliyah signed with her uncle Barry Hankerson's Blackground Records label in 1993 at the age of 14. She released her debut album, titled Age Ain't Nothing but a Number, in 1994 at the age of 15. R. Kelly acted as Aaliyah's mentor and he was a leading songwriter and producer on her debut album. The album displayed her smooth and velvety vocals and the production work was said to be original and innovative. The album went platinum within months. The album featured the gold-selling singles "Back and Forth" (#1 U.S. R&B, 3 weeks and #5 Hot 100 ), "At Your Best" (#2 U.S. R&B and #6 Hot 100 ), a cover of The Isley Brothers' 1976 song, the album-titled single "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number" (#75 Hot 100 and #25 US R&B, 2 weeks), and "Down with the Clique" (#12 R&B Airplay, 3 weeks). "Back and Fourth" was sampled by Madonna for the track, "Inside of Me" which appears on her 1994 album Bedtime Stories. In June 1995, Aaliyah released another single to radio only, "No One Knows How to Love Me Quite Like You Do." The album has sold over 3.5 million copies in the U.S. to date and nearly 7 million worldwide.

In 1994, a rumor surfaced that 15-year old Aaliyah and 27-year old R. Kelly had secretly married. They were rumored to have gotten married in the state of Illinois but the both of them initially denied the rumor. The rumor about the marriage was further supported when Vibe magazine found the marriage certificate.

In 1995 at age 16, Aaliyah performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" live at an Orlando Magic basketball game.

One in a Million (1996)
Cover of One In A Million
Cover of One In A Million

One In A Million, Aaliyah's sophomore album, was chiefly written and produced by then unknowns Missy Elliott and Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley and released on August 27, 1996 when she was 17 years old. The album was a landmark in Aaliyah's career, garnering her mass critical acclaim and introducing Aaliyah's more mature side. It embarked the newfound chemistry of Aaliyah and Timbaland. The album was certified double-platinum within a year, making Aaliyah a major R&B star and igniting the successful careers of Missy Elliott and Timbaland. One in a Million featured the international smash hit "If Your Girl Only Knew" (number one U.S. R&B, 2 weeks and #11 Hot 100), "One In A Million," (#1 U.S. R&B airplay, six weeks), the #8 U.S. R&B and #9 Hot 100 single "The One I Gave My Heart To," a ballad written by Diane Warren, "4 Page Letter", "Hot Like Fire" (two versions) (#16 Radio-Play), and "Got To Give It Up".

Tommy Hilfiger gave Aaliyah her first endorsement deal. He signed Aaliyah onto print campaigns, runway shows, and a commercial. During this period, Aaliyah would also make guest appearances on albums by artists such as Missy Elliott, Timbaland & Magoo, Ginuwine and Playa. Timbaland and Playa's frontman Steve "Static" Garrett would remain Aaliyah's principal collaborators for the duration of her career. To date, One in a Million has sold over 3.7 million copies in the U.S. and over 11 million worldwide.

After the success of One in a Million in 1996 Aaliyah headlined in her own tour "The Hot Like Fire Tour", in which she toured various major city venues performing hits from the album.

Movie roles and soundtracks
Aaliyah on the cover of her first film Romeo Must Die alongside Jet Li
Aaliyah on the cover of her first film Romeo Must Die alongside Jet Li

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 1998 Academy Awards ceremony, becoming the youngest female recording artist to perform at the ceremony. Not only was Aaliyah the youngest female to perform but she was the youngest African American to have the nominee for Best Original Song.

Aaliyah had a hit in 1998 with "Are You that Somebody" (number one airplay U.S. 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.

In 2000, she co-starred with Jet Li in the martial-arts film Romeo Must Die, which debuted at number one 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," "Come Back in One Piece," a duet with DMX, and the international number one hit "Try Again." Aaliyah made history once more when "Try Again" became the first song to ever reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 based solely on the strength of its radio airplay, without any single sales factored in. 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", (which was also featured on the soundtracks for the films Next Friday and Romeo Must Die) peaked at number 5 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. Aaliyah also recorded most of her third studio album, Aaliyah.

Aaliyah (2001)
Cover of Aaliyah
Cover of Aaliyah

"We Need a Resolution," the first single from Aaliyah's third studio album, was released April 24, 2001 (see 2001 in music). The self-titled Aaliyah was released three months later on July 17, 2001. The album was an instant critical success but sales were initially lower than expected, although they increased considerably after her death. Aaliyah introduced a darker and edgier side to Aaliyah's music and was noted as having showcased her growth as an artist. Around the time of the album's recording and release she had been filming Queen of the Damned, which helped her show a dark and edgy side as her character was a deadly villain. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 200,000 copies in its first week, and was certified gold (500,000 copies sold) within four weeks, before her death. The week after the plane crash it climbed to number one. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails was to produce a song on the album but scheduling conflicts did not permit the collaboration.

"More Than A Woman" and "Rock the Boat"

There was no shortage of confusion at the label regarding the next single from the Aaliyah album. Aaliyah had been promoting "More Than a Woman", having performed it twice and shooting a video with director Dave Meyers in the summer of 2001. According to Blackground, a remix featuring State Property and Jay-Z was also planned, but was scrapped due to lack of adequate funds. The video was to be released but "Rock the Boat" (the Female version of Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'") began receiving huge amounts of radio-play, so she was immediately sent to the Bahamas to shoot the video. The "Rock The Boat" music video was put in the 106 and Park hall of fame, making the countdown over 65 times and landed at #2 on BET's Top 100 videos of 2001. "More Than a Woman" made the number-one spot after "Rock the Boat" was retired. "Rock the Boat" was #2 U.S. R&B and #14 Hot 100 single. "I Care 4 U" was #3 U.S. R&B and #16 Hot 100 single. The album went on to sell over 8 million copies worldwide.


On August 25, 2001, at 6:49 pm, just after wrapping up filming of the "Rock the Boat" video, Aaliyah and various members of her record company boarded a twin engine Cessna 402B (N8097W) at Marsh Harbour, Abaco Island, Bahamas to travel to Opa-locka Airport near Miami, Florida, but the plane crashed shortly after takeoff about 200 feet from the runway. Pilot Luis Morales III and all eight passengers, including Aaliyah, were killed in that crash. 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. The coroner theorized that, even if Aaliyah survived the crash, her recovery would have been virtually impossible given the severity of her injuries.[3]

Aaliyah's eulogy was held on August 31 at Saint Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church on East 84th Street in Manhattan. A horse-drawn carriage then carried her coffin to Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, where she was initially interred in a crypt in the extension wing of the main mausoleum. When the Rosewood Mausoleum was completed a couple of years later, Aaliyah was moved to a private room in the new building. The inscription of her alias Baby Girl is engraved on her crypt.


NTSB reports indicate that the pilot, Luis Morales III, was not qualified to pilot the plane he was attempting to fly. 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. Additionally, an autopsy performed on Morales revealed cocaine and alcohol in his blood.

Further investigations determined the plane was over its total gross weight by several hundred pounds. Although witnesses claimed that the passengers had been asked to leave some luggage behind, it was later discovered that the passengers, including Aaliyah, had not been informed of the excess weight.

Eddie Golson, president of Pro Freight Cargo Services at Opa-locka Airport, said workers carted "a pickup truck of freight" from the crash site Monday. "That's absurd to think that this pilot got in this airplane with eight other people and a truck full of freight and expected this thing to fly," Golson said. "What the hell was going on?" A baggage handler was reported to have said that no one weighed the passengers or baggage. Two of the passengers, members of Aaliyah's entourage, weighed in the neighborhood of 300 pounds and sat in the rear of the plane, where the baggage was also stored.

The day of the crash was Mr. Morales' first official day with Blackhawk International Airways, a Part 135 single-pilot operation. He had been employed with Golden Airlines, from which he was fired only four hours before the fatal crash. In addition, Luis Morales III was not registered with the FAA to fly for Blackhawk. As a result of the accident, a wrongful death law suit was filed by Aaliyah's parents and was later settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
Aaliyah: More Than A Woman (2001) by Christopher John Farley
Aaliyah: More Than A Woman (2001) by Christopher John Farley

Barry & Sons, Inc., a corporation formed in 1992 to develop, promote and capitalize on the musical talents of Aaliyah and to oversee the production and distribution of her records, tapes and music videos, brought an unsuccessful lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against Instinct Productions LLC, (a company hired by Barry & Sons, Inc. in August, 2001 to produce the "Rock the Boat" music video). The case was dismissed since New York State's wrongful death statute only permits certain people to recover damages for wrongful death.[4]

Aaliyah: An R&B Princess in Words and Pictures (2002) by Kelly Kenyatta
Aaliyah: An R&B Princess in Words and Pictures (2002) by Kelly Kenyatta

"Rock the Boat" went on to become a posthumous hit on radio (reaching number two on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles charts and number 14 on the Hot 100) and video channels, and the news of Aaliyah's death gave her album a notable sales boost, pushing it to number one on the Billboard 200. The album produced two other singles. "More than A Woman" reached number 7 on Billboard's Hot R&B singles chart and number 25 on Hot 100. This single also reached number one in the UK charts making her the first deceased artist to reach the number one spot in the UK. "I Care 4 U" reached number three on Billboard's Hot R&B singles chart and number 16 on the Hot 100, the latter attaining success even without the promotional push of a music video. The Aaliyah album went on to sell over 3 million copies in the U.S. Queen of the Damned was released in early 2002. Before its release, Aaliyah's brother Rashad was called upon to re-dub several of his sister's lines during the post-production ADR process. Upon its release, the film debuted at number one. The film was also dedicated to her.

In 2001 Missy Elliott released her video for "Take Away". The video contained words and images about Aaliyah. The single also featured Ginuwine and was the debut of Elliott's recent protégé, Tweet.

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 (aside from the Elvis Presley re-releases in 2005). 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. Aaliyah was voted one of "The Top 40 Woman of the Video Era" in VH1's The Greatest, also ranked #36 on their list of the 100 Sexiest Artist. Aaliyah also made E!'s list on the 101 Most Shocking Moments in Entertainment, Juciest Hollywood Hookups, and Best Kept Hollywood Secrets.

In addition Aaliyah has been the topic of four books: Aaliyah: More than a Woman (2001) by Christopher John Farley, Aaliyah: An R&B Princess in Words and Pictures (2002) by Kelly Kenyatta, Aaliyah by Tim Footman (2003), and Aaliyah Remembered: Her Life & The Person behind the Mystique (2005) by William Sutherland.

Aaliyah's Name in Songs
Aaliyah (2003) by Tim Footman.
Aaliyah (2003) by Tim Footman.

Since her death she has been mentioned in many songs in recent years by other rappers and singers, such as DMX, Yolanda Adams, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Boyz II Men, Kanye West, The Game, Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Mýa, Tyrese, Wyclef Jean, Monica, D12, Jadakiss, Nas, Quan, T.I., TLC and Outsiderz 4 Life. Boyz II Men have a song dedicated to Aaliyah entitled "Think Of Aaliyah" or also known as "The Aaliyah Song", in which is mentioned during the chorus, "When you think of Aaliyah, laugh, don't cry, cause I know she want it that way". In Jadakiss' 2004 single, "Why", he mentions Aaliyah's fateful plane crash by rapping the line "...why Aaliyah had to take dat flight..."

In Mya's song "After The Rain" from her 2003 Moodring album, she sings "No one could ever fill your shoes/you're one in a million," and is speaking of Aaliyah. R&B group 112 made a tribute song to Aaliyah called "Cry On" which express their emotions for losing Aaliyah. Mary J. Blige's 2005 album The Breakthrough featured the single "MJB Da MVP" in which she sings "It was when Aaliyah died / I couldn't hardly sleep / Thought about it every day / and it made Me change my ways".

Rap mogul Jay-Z made a remix to the song "Miss You" in which Jay-Z named certain people who missed her after her death. Compton rapper The Game mentions her twice in his first album "The Documentary," in "Dreams", he raps in the chorus "Martin Luther King had a dream, Aaliyah had a dream, Left Eye had a dream" and in "Runnin" "God let me in, give me a room by Aaliyah with ESPN".

In Brandy's song "Turn It Up" from her 2004 Afrodisiac album, she refers to Aaliyah when she sings "Get Baby Girl's attention, she's more than a woman and we sure do miss her. I wanna represent her, Timbaland, Missy, you get the picture." And in her song "Should I Go", she says "this industry was more like a different world, when it was just me, Monica, and Baby Girl [Aaliyah], I never got to tell you how much you meant / I wish you and me both was sittin' here workin with Tim / Just to be in the presence of people that you affected on a personal level just makes me stop for a second. [inhales and exhales] You were such a blessing, you helped me answer all of my questions.".

Also, in T.I.'s smash hit "Rubberband Man" he states throw your lighters up for my cousin Tu [ Tupac Shakur ], Aaliyah, Left Eye, and Jam Master Jay. In a song about the September 11, 2001 attacks - which occurred weeks after Aaliyah's death - D12 mentions Aaliyah in a song entitled "9-11". The line states that We lost Aaliyah, lost our families, it takes no tenges. You don't need us to see the world is (messed) up, God can see it.

Unfinished Films

Aaliyah was to have had a supporting role as Zee, the wife of Harold Perrineau Jr.'s character, Link, in the two sequels to The Matrix. The directors initially tried to find a way to incorporate her footage into the movies but decided against it due to lack of material available. The role was recast with Nona Gaye playing the character. Other films in which Aaliyah was signed to star in were Honey (which instead was filmed with Jessica Alba as the star), and a Whitney Houston-produced remake of the 1976 film Sparkle (now in the works as a Raven-Symoné ).

In addition, Aaliyah and one of her agents had pitched and inked a deal with Fox Searchlight Pictures for her to star in a film based upon a true story about interracial love. Aaliyah was considered for the role of Alex in the 2000 film Charlie's Angels, but was too young at the time.

I Care 4 U (2002)
Cover of her first compilation album I Care 4 U.
Cover of her first compilation album I Care 4 U.

I Care 4 U, a greatest hits album, was released by Blackground Records on December 10, 2002. Along with her hit singles, a number of previously unreleased tracks were included on the album, including "Erica Kane", "Don't Worry" and "All I Need" and the new singles "Miss You", "Don't Know What to Tell Ya", and "Come Over." I Care 4 U debuted at an impressive #3 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the R&B album charts (where it remained for 7 weeks). The album went on to sell over 2.6 million in the U.S. and 5 million worldwide.

The video for "Miss You" features Missy Elliott, Toni Braxton, Lil' Kim, Dallas Austin, MTV presenter and close friend Ananda Lewis, actor Jamie Foxx, AJ Calloway, Free, Quddus, Missy's recent protegé and longtime friend Tweet, U-God (of the Wu-Tang Clan) and DMX, Rosario Dawson, among others, paying tribute to Aaliyah. Following her death, her single "Miss You" made it to #1 on the US R&B Charts.

The follow-up single to "Miss You" was "Don't Know What To Tell Ya". "Don't Know What To Tell Ya" was only released in Europe and peaked at #22 in the UK & #57 in Germany. The "handcuff remix" became popular among fans who had bought the single.The third and final Single released (second in the U.S.) was Come Over. The single had moderate pop success peaking in the top 40 of The Hot 100 at #32. It did a lot better on the R&B charts becoming a top 10 hit peaking at #9.

Aaliyah in the mid-2000s

In early/mid-2005 four previously unreleased Aaliyah tracks were leaked to the Internet: a cover 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". In January 2006, a new unreleased Aaliyah track was leaked to the Internet. Entitled "Time" it was a snippet of an unfinished song and was produced by Timbaland.


    * She is also known as "Baby Girl".[citation needed]

    * She is The Princess of Hip-Hop Soul.[citation needed]

    * She performed The Star-Spangled Banner" live at an Orlando Magic game.[citation needed]

    * In UK, she is one of the deceased artists to top on the chart with her single "More Than A Woman" in 2002 followed by George Harrison with "My Sweet Lord" next week after she spot number 1.[citation needed]

    * She is the first female artist to have achieved a posthumous #1 single in the UK.[citation needed]

    * Missy Elliott, who has worked with Aaliyah, has made several mentions of the later in many of her songs and videos.[citation needed]

    * In 2004, several University of Miami football players formed a hip hop music group called 7th Floor Crew, which recorded a song by the same name. The song, whose title was based on the 7th floor of the University of Miami's Mahoney Residential Hall, was recorded to the beat of Aaliyah's "If Your Girl Only Knew." The song's lewd sexual and racial lyrics drew condemnation from the University of Miami administration, following coverage of it by ESPN, Sports Illustrated and other national media.The song can be downloaded and heard at: The 7th Floor Crew's MySpace.com site

    * Every year since 2001 on Aaliyah's birth and death dates (January 16 and August 25, respectively) fans continue to commute from all over the world to attend a vigil held at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York (Aaliyah's place in rest).[citation needed]

    * There is an oak tree planted by Aaliyah's family in 2001 at Central Park in New York City in memory of Aaliyah's short lived life, that fans visit in tribute.[citation needed]

    * She was the first R&B black artist and then-youngest that have been featured in an E! True Hollywood Story episode.[citation needed]

    * At age 10 (1990), she appeared on Star Search and she sang the song "My Funny Valentine", her mother's favorite song.[citation needed]

    * Gladys Knight is Aaliyah's aunt through marriage. She is the former wife of Aaliyah's uncle, Barry Hankerson.[citation needed]

    * Aaliyah was dating hip hop mogul Damon Dash. According to Dash, he and Aaliyah secretly had plans to get married.[citation needed]

    * Aaliyah and Timbaland were to collaborate with Korn on a song for the Queen of the Damned soundtrack, but it never took place due to her untimely death.[citation needed]

    * Aaliyah had planned to collaborate with one of her favorite soul singers D'Angelo on her third album but scheduling conflicts prevented it.[citation needed]

    * She was also to work with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails for her third album but scheduling conflicts also prevented this collaboration.[citation needed]

    * She is The Queen of Urban Pop.[citation needed]

    * She is the first African-American to perform at the oscars.[citation needed]

No comments: