The world will pause and a reflect, even for just a second to reminisce on Aaliyah Dana Haughton, the R&B songstress who was taken from us nine years ago today. Aaliyah, whose smooth grooves captivated and inspired us is always remembered as a graceful and humble woman, was on the cusp of becoming a break out star when tragedy struck on the shoot of the visually moving Rock The Boat video. We celebrate her memory and the impact she made in her short time on this Earth and in her memory contemplate the importance of our own legacies that we pass on to the next generation of young girls.
When her first hit single Back and Forth dropped in 1994, it shot up the charts and led her Age Ain’t Nothin But a Number album to multi platinum status. At 14, Aaliyah was praised for her Sade like yearning and soul far beyond her years. Her voice dripped with an aching, melodic echo that was a perfect blend with R. Kelly production. Part of Aaliyah’s mystic was her apparent enigmatic demeanor and cool unforced sensuality. Amid rumors of liaisons and a marriage with accused pedophile R. Kelly, Aaliyah’s approval with the public never really took a hit as she switched up to the futuristic pop funk team of Timbaland and Missy Elliott to produce her follow-up album One in A Million, which sold eight million records worldwide. On this album, Aaliyah mesmorized her audience showing off clean and polished dance routines in her videos and a cool confidence that would no longer be confused with being shy. Solidifying her as a formidable star and establishing Timbaland as a bona fide hit maker, Aaliyah parlayed her rapport with the public into movie roles and ad campaigns with Tommy Hilfiger. Before her untimely death, Aaliyah was already the sweetheart of R&B music.
Despite enduring a drama with R. Kelly that could have been a career killer, Aaliyah stayed in tune with her calling. Choosing not to bow to the depths of the gossip and speculation around her, Aaliyah proved that talent, ingenuity, and resolve would reign over smack talk. Her humble, angelic disposition left a resounding imprint on her fans, even as artists to come failed to duplicate this from Aaliyah’s arsenal. Ciara may have copied from Aaliyah’s blueprint, but we all could learn a thing or two about how being your One In A Million self and dusting yourself off to Try Again can open up a world of possibility and opportunity. Her gracious and grateful spirit will reign forever, as we will never forget who Aaliyah was, and in her memory today and always be At Your Best.
I Miss You- Aaliyah featuring Jay Z
Aaliyah’s Last Interview FOUR DAYS before her death
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 Mean
I Wish You and Me Both Were Sittin’ Here Working With Tim
Just To Be In The Presence Of The People That You Affected
At the Personal Level Just Makes Me Stop For A Second
You Were Such A Blessing
You Helped Me Answer All My Questions
Should I Go- Brandy-Brandy’s take on Aaliyah’s impact on her life.