I became an Aaliyah fan in 1996 when I heard the song One in a Million and I've been one every since.
Aaliyah's music helped me through a terrible break up and a move from one coast to the other, all with in a year. Even now when I hear her music it takes me back to a special time in my life.
I remember the night Aaliyah was killed, it seemed unreal, surreal even. I had never really experienced grief for someone I didn’t actually know. But I grieved for Aaliyah and I still do.
So thanks Aaliyah for your music and your talent. And as they say, I know that you are in a better place.
Aaliyah was born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York to Michael and Diane Haughton, and was raised in Detroit, Michigan.
Her name Aaliyah means "Highest, Most Exalted, The Best" in both Arabic and Hebrew.
In 1991, she appeared on the TV talent show Star Search at age ten, singing her mother's favorite song, My Funny Valentine. Although she did not win, she remained a good sport and continued to perfect her skills.
Aaliyah worked with an agent in New York and auditioned for TV shows, including Family Matters.
Following her appearance on Star Search, an eleven year old Aaliyah performed on stage in Las Vegas with Gladys Knight, her aunt by way of Knight's marriage to Aaliyah's uncle, Barry Hankerson.
Knight recalled, "She was still quite young, but she already had it--that spark the world would later see and fall in love with."
Aaliyah on Star Search
Aaliyah attended the Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts, and graduated as a Dance major with a 4.0 GPA.
One in a Million was released on August 27, 1996 when Aaliyah was 17 years of age. The album became a landmark in Aaliyah's career, garnering her mass critical acclaim.
The album was certified double-platinum within a year, making Aaliyah a major R&B star and igniting the successful careers of then-unknowns Missy Elliott and Timbaland.
One in a Million featured the international hits If Your Girl Only Knew, One in a Million, Got to Give It Up, 4 Page Letter, Hot Like Fire, and The One I Gave My Heart To.
To date, One in a Million has sold over 7 million copies in the U.S. and over 11 million worldwide.
Aaliyah One in a Million
On August 25, 2001, at 6:50 pm (EST), 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.
The crew had a flight scheduled the next day, but the video wrapped early. Aaliyah and her entourage were eager to return to the US and took their heavy equipment from the shoot on the plane rather than leave it behind.
The plane crashed shortly after takeoff about 200 feet (70 m) from the runway. Pilot Luis Morales III and all eight passengers were killed in the aviation accident.
Along with Aaliyah were her make-up artist Eric Foreman, Anthony Dodd, her security guard Scott Gallin, Douglas Kratz (a director of video production for Virgin Records), stylist Christopher Maldonado, Keith Wallace and Gina Smith (both employees of the Blackground label).
Aaliyah died at 6:50 PM. Coincidentally, this was the exact time of day that Aaliyah had been born.
Despite her short career, Aaliyah sold 40 million records in the U.S. and over 80 million worldwide. In addition to commercial success, her collaborations with Timbaland helped shape the sound of R&B in the latter half of the 1990s.
Aaliyah also modeled for Tommy Hilfiger and starred in two motion pictures, Romeo Must Die and Queen of The Damned.
Aaliyah Rock The Boat
Text Attribution: Wikipedia
Text Attribution: Wikipedia