Aaliyah Dani Haughton was born January 16,1979 in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. Aaliyah's break is credited to her Uncle Barry Hankerson, CEO and owner of her management company, Blackground Enterprises. Barry Hankerson was/is Aaliyah's manager as well as her ex-mentor's manager R. Kelly. It was Barry who introduced the two and shortly after their acquaintance, production on "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number" ensued. Aaliyah acquired the world's attention at the tender age of 15 when her first single "Back and Forth" landed #1 on the Hot 100 singles chart; dethroning her then svengali, R.Kelly and his track "Your Body's Callin".
Shortly afterwards, her album was released under Jive records and another top five gold single was spawned. Not only was this single a remake of an Isley Brothers classic, but it also flexed Aaliyah's octave range and vocal versatility. Her rendition of "At Your Best (You Are Love)" ripped the airwaves and its listeners with its tumultuous and sensuous harmonies. A few other hit singles followed including the light hip-pop jam "Down With The Clique" and the adulterated title track. The provocative nature of the album's title and lyrics, as well as the mystery of her true age sparked a media frenzy about an alleged union between Aaliyah and her then mentor. This frenzy blossomed into a barrage of media rumors threatening to thwart a prosperous career. Till this day no one is certain if there was ever a union between the two parties, but those two parties involved. However, Aaliyah denies ever being married to R. Kelly and R. Kelly refuses to comment. In addition, Aaliyah states that the reason she kept her age on the low was because she wanted the world to accept her for her music and not based solely on her age.
Despite the rumors, critics gushed and Entertainment Weekly had this to say (6/17/94) ...Imagine En Vogue packed into one teenage body and backed by hip-hop svengali R. Kelly, and you have Aaliyah...a promising start... The setting, 1996 and Aaliyah was gearing up for the release of her new album tentatively titled One In A Million. One In A Million proved that Aaliyah would make her mark on the ever-changing music industry by emphasizing the strength and maturity in her voice. Along with this maturity, Aaliyah carried the once underground hit-makers Missy/Timbaland to new heights. This sound they would concoct on One In A Million, would take the music industry by storm. Hit after heart-pounding hit would follow, ultimately making her 1st sophomore single, the sexy, seductive, and taunt, "If Your girl Only Knew" the #1 spot on the hot 100 singles chart and the other singles radio heavy as well. Before the close of '97, One In A Million (a #1 radio play single also) would go double platinum+ with the success of 4 Page Letter, Hot Like Fire, & The One I Gave My Heart To; shaking away any worries of a sophomore slump.
With so much potential and tenacity shown by the 8x's platinum sales (totaling all singles, albums, and contributions to soundtracks in U.S.)[i.e "Try Again", "I Don't Wanna", and "Are You That Somebody"] the singer, dancer, actress, and ENTERTAINER, that we've grown to love is just beginning to live up to the true meaning of her name; "The Most Exalted One".
Albums: "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number" 1994, "One in a Million" 1996
"Self-titled-Aaliyah" 2001. From and early age, Aaliyah has found satisfaction in her music. When she didnt win a local vocal competition on "Star Search" as a pre-teen, she did not let it deter her from continuing to sing. At age 11, she landed a five-night stint performing with Gladys Knights troupe in Las Vegas. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she was raised in Detroit. She graduated from the Detroit Performing Arts High School in 1997 with a 4.0 GPA. She credits her success to the support from her family. She is managed by her parents as well as her brother Rashad, who also serves as her mentor and creative consultant. Aaliyah made her feature acting debut in the film Romeo Must Die and recently starred in the title role of the latest Anne Rice vampire thriller, The Queen of the Damned.
She was like one of my daughters; she was one of the sweetest girls in the world, said Quincy Jones, 68, the Grammy-winning producer, arranger and composer. She vacationed with me and my family together in Fiji. I loved her and respected her, and I am absolutely devastated.
Aaliyah studied at Detroit High School for Fine and Performing Arts and struck a licensing deal as a teen-ager after her uncle, Barry Hankerson, formed Blackground Records.
She went gold with her debut album, Age Aint Nothing But Number, when she was just 14 in 1994 and benefited from working closely with hip-hop producer R. Kelly.
One in a Million, released in 1996, pioneered a new R&B sound which tended towards computer-generated backing tracks instead of live instrumentation. This year she released her third successful album Aaliyah.
Her latest album, Aaliyah, featured regular Aaliyah contributors Timbaland and Missy Misdemeanor Elliott. She took on the issue of domestic violence in the slow tune Never No More and experimented with jazz rhythms in I Care 4 U. The album was a top seller.