Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born on January 16, 1979 to Diane and Michael Haughton in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents named her Aaliyah, which is the feminine form of the Arabic ‘Ali,’ meaning ‘highest’; ‘most exalted one’; ‘the best.’ She was raised in Detroit and got her major exposure on the T.V. show “Star Search” in 1983 and got a lot of love from the audience. In her senior year in high school, she recorded “One In A Million,” written by Missy Elliott and Timbaland. The album’s success sealed Aaliyah’s fame forever.
Aaliyah Dana Haughton burst into fame in 1994 after she released her debut Album “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” She was only 15 at the time and the album went on to become Gold. It was done as a collaboration that was highly influenced by R. Kelly and it put the singer in the spotlight. In 1996, she worked with Jermaine Dupri and Timbaland to release her second album, “One In A Million,” which contained the number-one hit single ‘If Your Girl Only Knew.’ With the release of this work, Aaliyah won international acclaim as an R&B singer.
In 2000, she starred in the romance and action film “Romeo Must Die” alongside martial arts legend Jet-Li. She got this role after being spotted by film producer Joel Silver at an awards show. In 2002, she got to be part of the vampire flick “Queen of the Damned,” which was based on the Anne Rice novel. She then got into the Matrix with her role as Zee in “The Matrix Sequels” having also appeared in “The Matrix Reloaded” in 2003, and “The Matrix Revolutions” in the same year. The singer had four Grammy nominations, in 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2003.
On August 25, 2001, after completing a video shoot, Aaliyah, along with her entourage, took off from Marsh Harbour airport at 6:50 pm E.D.T. in a small Cessna 404, en route Opa-Locka, Florida. A few minutes after take-off, the plane crashed near the runway, killing Aaliyah and many others.
Aaliyah plays an orphan in the Gesu Catholic School production of "Annie" and also appeared in her school's production of "Hello Dolly."
Aaliyah sang ‘My Funny Valentine’ on the T.V. “Star Search” show and dedicated it to her mom.
Aaliyah becomes the youngest person ever to perform an Oscar-nominated song at the Academy Awards telecast when she performed ‘Journey to the Past’ from Anastasia.
Aaliyah receives her first Grammy Award nomination for best female R&B vocal performance, in ‘Are You That Somebody?’
Why We Love Aaliyah
She made ‘tomboy’ a cute look
Aaliyah was the icon behind an entire generation's love for Tommy Hilfiger. She was a major fashion influencer.
She made ‘swoop bang’ the black ‘Rachel’
Upon her mother's insistence, Aaliyah made sure her hair was carefully placed over her right eye, making that look popular for black girls as well. Oops, to everyone who thought she had a lazy eye.
She was adorable
Her nickname was “baby girl,” and she lived up to that name. She didn't lose her innocent look in the eyes of her fans.
5 Surprising Facts
She got married at 15 years old
There were rumors that Aaliyah had married her mentor R. Kelly, who was 27 years old, by lying about her age on the papers.
Aaliyah often had her left eye covered
Following the advice of her mother, Aaliyah covered her left eye when she changed her hairstyle.
Aaliya loved being around her family
Aaliyah had her mum, dad, or brother on every video shoot, apart from the "Rock The Boat," which turned out to be her last.
Aaliyah was a Potterhead
Aaliyah once said, after an interview, that she would be going home to read her Harry Potter book.
Aaliyah and Damon Dash had marriage plans
Damon Dash, Aaliyah’s boyfriend at that time, revealed after her death that the couple had plans to get married.
Why is Aaliyah not on Spotify?
Aaliyah’s music never appeared on streaming services owing to disputes between her estate and former record label.
How many #1 songs does Aaliyah have?
Aaliyah has four #1 songs and 12 top 10s on Billboard’s Nielsen BDS-based Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop radio airplay chart.
Did Aaliyah sing with Chris Brown?
No, but Chris Brown sampled never-before-heard vocals of the late singer in his 2013 song ‘Don’t Think They Know.’
Aaliyah’s birthday dates