|Height:||158 cm (5' 3'')|
|Birth Day:||January 16, 1979|
|Death Date:||Aug 25, 2001 (age 22)|
|Birth Place:||New York City, United States|
|#1||Rashad Haughton||Brother||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||43||Writer|
|#4||Michael Haughton||Father||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||69||Celebrity Family Member|
|#5||R. Kelly||Former spouse||$10 million (2019)||N/A||53||R&B Singer|
|#7||Damon Dash||Partner||$10 Thousand||N/A||49||Entrepreneur|
As per our current Database, Aaliyah died on Aug 25, 2001 (age 22).
She sang in her school choir and played Annie in her first-grade play. She signed with Blackground Records when she was twelve years old.
Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born on January 16, 1979, in Brooklyn, New York, and was the younger child of Diane and Michael "Miguel" Haughton (1951–2012). She was of African-American descent. Her name has been described as a female version of the Arabic "Ali", but the original Jewish name "Aliya (Hebrew: אליה)" is derived from the Hebrew word "aliyah (Hebrew: עלייה)", meaning "highest, most exalted one, the best." The singer was highly fond of her Semitic name, calling it "beautiful" and asserting she was "very proud of it" and strove to live up to her name every day. Aaliyah's mother enrolled Aaliyah in voice lessons at an early age. She started performing at weddings, church choir and charity events. When Aaliyah was five years old, her family moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she was raised along with her older brother, Rashad. She attended a Catholic school, Gesu Elementary, where in first grade she was cast in the stage play Annie, which inspired her to become an entertainer. In Detroit, her father began working in the warehouse business, one of his brother-in-law Barry Hankerson's widening interests. Her mother stayed home and raised Aaliyah and her brother.
Her grandmother died in 1991. Years after her death, Aaliyah said her grandmother supported everyone in the family and always wanted to hear her sing, as well as admitting that she "spoiled" her and her brother Rashad. She also enjoyed Aaliyah's singing and would have Aaliyah to sing for her. Aaliyah said she thought of her grandmother whenever she fell into depression. Aaliyah's hands reminded her of her aunt, who died when she was very young and whom Aaliyah remembered as an "amazingly beautiful woman".
After Hankerson signed a distribution deal with Jive Records, he signed Aaliyah to his Blackground Records label at the age of 12. Hankerson later introduced her to recording artist and producer R. Kelly, who became Aaliyah's mentor, as well as lead songwriter and producer of her first album, which was recorded when she was 14. Aaliyah's debut album, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number, was released under her mononym "Aaliyah", by Jive and Blackground Records on May 24, 1994; the album debut at number 24 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 74,000 copies in its first week. It ultimately peaked at number 18 on the Billboard 200 and sold over three million copies in the United States, where it was certified two times Platinum by the RIAA. In Canada, the album sold over 50,000 copies and was certified gold by the CRIA. Aaliyah's debut single, "Back & Forth", topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for three weeks and was certified Gold by the RIAA. The second single, a cover of The Isley Brothers' "At Your Best (You Are Love)", peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and was also certified Gold by the RIAA. The title track, "Age Ain't Nothing but a Number", peaked at number 75 on the Hot 100. Additionally, she released "The Thing I Like" as part of the soundtrack to the 1994 film A Low Down Dirty Shame.
With the release of Age Ain't Nothing but a Number, rumors circulated of a relationship between Aaliyah and R. Kelly, including the allegation that they had secretly married without her parents' knowledge. Vibe later revealed a marriage certificate that listed the couple married on August 31, 1994, in Sheraton Gateway Suites in Rosemont, Illinois. Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time, was listed as 18 on the certificate; the illegal marriage was annulled in February 1995 by her parents. The pair continued to deny marriage allegations, stating that neither was married.
Aaliyah reportedly developed a friendship with Kelly during the recording of her debut album. As she recalled to Vibe magazine in 1994, she and Kelly would "go watch a movie" and "go eat" when she got tired and would then "come back and work". She described the relationship between her and Kelly as being "rather close." In 2016, Kelly said that he was as in love with Aaliyah as he was with "anybody else." In December 1994, Aaliyah told the Sun-Times that whenever she was asked about being married to Kelly, she urged them not to believe "all that mess" and that she and Kelly were "close" and "people took it the wrong way." In his 2011 book The Man Behind the Man: Looking From the Inside Out, Demetrius Smith Sr., a former member of Kelly's entourage, wrote that Kelly told him "in a voice that sounded as if he wanted to burst into tears" that he thought Aaliyah was pregnant.
Jamie Foster Brown in the 1994 issue of Sister 2 Sister wrote that "R. Kelly told me that he and Aaliyah got together and it was just magic." Brown also reported hearing about a relationship between them. "I've been hearing about Robert and Aaliyah for a while—that she was pregnant. Or that she was coming and going in and out of his house. People would see her walking his dog, 12 Play, with her basketball cap and sunglasses on. Every time I asked the label, they said it was platonic. But I kept hearing complaints from people about her being in the studio with all those men." Brown later added "at 15, you have all those hormones and no brains attached to them."
In 1996, Aaliyah left Jive Records and signed with Atlantic Records. She worked with record producers Timbaland and Missy Elliott, who contributed to her second studio album, One in a Million. Missy Elliott recalled Timbaland and herself being nervous to work with Aaliyah, since Aaliyah had already released her successful début album while Missy Elliott and Timbaland were just starting out. Missy Elliott also feared she would be a diva, but reflected that Aaliyah "came in and was so warming; she made us immediately feel like family." The album yielded the single "If Your Girl Only Knew", which topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for two weeks. It also generated the singles "Hot Like Fire" and "4 Page Letter". The following year, Aaliyah was featured on Timbaland & Magoo's debut single, "Up Jumps da Boogie". One in a Million peaked at number 18 on the Billboard 200, selling 3 million copies in the United States and over eight million copies worldwide. The album was certified double platinum by the RIAA on June 16, 1997, denoting shipments of two million copies. The month prior to One in a Millions release, on May 5, 1997, music publisher Windswept Pacific filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Aaliyah claiming she had illegally copied Bobby Caldwell's "What You Won't Do for Love" for the single "Age Ain't Nothing but a Number".
Aaliyah attended the Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts, where she majored in drama and graduated in 1997 with a 4.0 GPA. Aaliyah began her acting career that same year; she played herself in the police drama television series New York Undercover. During this time, Aaliyah participated in the Children's Benefit Concert, a charity concert that took place at the Beacon Theatre in New York. Aaliyah also became the spokesperson for Tommy Hilfiger Corporation. During Aaliyah's campaign with Tommy Hilfiger, the company sold over 2,400 pairs of the red, white and blue baggy jeans that she wore in their advertisements which prompted them to restock 5,000 more pairs of those jeans. In 1997, Aaliyah performed the Christmas carol What Child Is This at the annual holiday special Christmas in Washington. She contributed on the soundtrack album for the Fox Animation Studios animated feature Anastasia, performing a cover version of "Journey to the Past" which earned songwriters Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Aaliyah performed the song at the 1998 Academy Awards ceremony and became the youngest singer to perform at the event. The song "Are You That Somebody?" was featured on the Dr. Dolittle soundtrack, which earned Aaliyah her first Grammy Award nomination. The song peaked at number 21 on the Hot 100.
Aaliyah admitted in court documents that she had lied about her age. In May 1997, she filed suit in Cook County seeking to have all records of the marriage expunged because she was not old enough under state law to get married without her parents' consent. It was reported that she cut off all professional and personal ties with Kelly after the marriage was annulled and ceased having contact with him. In 2014, Jomo Hankerson stated that Aaliyah "got villainized" over her relationship with Kelly and the scandal over the marriage made it difficult to find producers for her second album. "We were coming off of a multi-platinum debut album and except for a couple of relationships with Jermaine Dupri and Puffy, it was hard for us to get producers on the album." Hankerson also expressed confusion over why "they were upset" with Aaliyah given her age at the time.
When she changed her hairstyle, Aaliyah took her mother's advice and covered her left eye, much like Veronica Lake. The look has become known as her signature and been referred to as fusion of "unnerving emotional honesty" and "a sense of mystique". In 1998, she hired a personal trainer to keep in shape, and exercised five days a week and ate diet foods. Aaliyah was praised for her "clean-cut image" and "moral values". Robert Christgau of The Village Voice wrote of Aaliyah's artistry and image, "she was lithe and dulcet in a way that signified neither jailbait nor hottie—an ingenue whose selling point was sincerity, not innocence and the obverse it implies."
In 1999, Aaliyah landed her first film role in Romeo Must Die, released March 22, 2000. Aaliyah starred opposite martial artist Jet Li, playing a couple who fall in love amid their warring families. It grossed US$18.6 million in its first weekend, ranking number two at the box office. Aaliyah purposely stayed away from reviews of the film to "make it easier on" herself, but she heard "that people were able to get into me, which is what I wanted." In contrast, some critics felt there was no chemistry between her and Jet Li, as well as viewing the film was too simplistic. This was echoed by Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times, who wrote that while Aaliyah was "a natural" and the film was conceived as a spotlight for both her and Li, "they have so little chemistry together you'd think they're putting out a fire instead of shooting off sparks. Her role was well received by Glen Oliver by IGN who liked that she did not portray her character "as a victimized female" but instead "as a strong female who does not come across as an over-the-top Women's Right Advocate."
During the recording stages for the album, Aaliyah's publicist disclosed that the album's release date was most likely in October 2000. Ultimately she finished recording the album in March 2001; after a year of recording tracks that began in March of the previous year. Aaliyah was released five years after One in a Million on July 17, 2001, and it debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 187,000 copies in its first week. The first single from the album, "We Need a Resolution", peaked at number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100. The week after Aaliyah's death, her third and self-titled studio album, rose from number 19 to number one on the Billboard 200. "Rock the Boat" was released as a posthumous single. The music video premiered on BET's Access Granted; it became the most viewed and highest rated episode in the history of the show. The song peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It was also included on the Now That's What I Call Music! 8 compilation series; a portion of the album's profits was donated to the Aaliyah Memorial Fund. Promotional posters for Aaliyah that had been put up in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles became makeshift memorials for grieving fans.
Aaliyah was known to avoid answering questions regarding Kelly following the professional split. During an interview with Christopher John Farley, she was asked if she was still in contact with him and if she would ever work with him again. Farley said Aaliyah responded with a "firm, frosty 'no'" to both of the questions. Vibe magazine said Aaliyah changed the subject anytime "you bring up the marriage with her". A spokeswoman for Aaliyah said in 2000 that when "R. Kelly comes up, she doesn't even speak his name, and nobody's allowed to ask about it at all". Kelly later commented that Aaliyah had opportunities to address the pair's relationship after they separated professionally but chose not to. In 2019, Damon Dash revealed to Hip Hop Motivation that Aaliyah didn't even speak of her relationship with Kelly in private; she tried multiple times to discuss it with him, but was only able to find the courage to say that Kelly was a "bad man". She told him that she could only possibly discuss the relationship with a professional counselor. Dash said he was unable to watch Surviving R. Kelly because its interviews with visibly traumatized girls struggling to discuss their encounters with Kelly reminded him of how Aaliyah behaved when trying to recount her relationship with Kelly.
Aaliyah was dating co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records Damon Dash at the time of her death and, though they were not formally engaged, in interviews given after Aaliyah's death, Dash claimed the couple had planned to marry. Aaliyah and Dash met in 2000 through his accountant and formed a friendship. Dash has said he is unsure of how he and Aaliyah started dating and that the two just understood each other. "I don't know [how we got involved], just spending time, you know, we just saw things the same and it was new, you know what I mean? Meeting someone that is trying to do the same thing you are doing in the urban market, in the same urban market place but not really being so urban. It was just; her mind was where my mind was. She understood me and she got my jokes. She thought my jokes were funny."
"More than a Woman" and "I Care 4 U" were released as posthumous singles and peaked within the top 25 of the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified double Platinum by the RIAA and sold 2.6 million copies in the United States. "More than a Woman" reached number one on the UK singles chart making Aaliyah the first female deceased artist to reach number one on the UK singles chart. "More than a Woman" was replaced by George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" which is the only time in the UK singles chart's history where a dead artist has replaced another dead artist at number one. In July 2001, she allowed MTV's show Diary behind-the-scenes access to her life and stated: "I am truly blessed to wake up every morning to do something that I love; there is nothing better than that." She continued, "Everything is worth it – the hard work, the times when you're tired, the times when you are a bit sad. In the end, it's all worth it because it really makes me happy. I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world. I've got good friends, a beautiful family and I've got a career. I thank God for his blessings every single chance I get."
In November 2001, Ronald Isley stated that Aaliyah and the Isley Brothers had discussed a collaboration prior to her death. She had previously covered the Isley Brothers' single "At Your Best (You Are Love)". Prior to her death, she expressed the possibility of recording songs for the Queen of The Damned soundtrack and welcomed the possibility of collaborating with Jonathan Davis. By 2001, Aaliyah had enjoyed her now seven-year career and felt a sense of accomplishment. "This is what I always wanted," she said of her career in Vibe magazine. "I breathe to perform, to entertain, I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I'm just a really happy girl right now. I honestly love every aspect of this business. I really do. I feel very fulfilled and complete."
In her spare time, she was mostly a homebody, which dated back to her younger years, but on occasion went out and played laser tag. She reasoned this was due to her liking "the simple things in life". Despite having a prosperous career that allowed her to purchase the vehicle she wanted, Aaliyah revealed during her final interview on August 21, 2001, on 106 & Park, that she had never owned a car because she lived in New York City and could hire a car or driver on a regular basis.
Aaliyah was known to have usually been accompanied by members of her family and the "Rock the Boat" filming was credited by Rashad Haughton as being the first and only time her family was not present. In October 2001, Rashad stated: "It really boggles everyone [that] from Day One, every single video she ever shot there's always been myself or my mother or my father there. The circumstances surrounding this last video were really strange because my mother had eye surgery and couldn't fly. That really bothered her because she always traveled. My dad had to take care of my mom at that time. And I went to Australia to visit some friends. We really couldn't understand why we weren't there. You ask yourself maybe we could have stopped it. But you can't really answer the question. There's always gonna be that question of why." Her friend Kidada Jones said in the last year of her life her parents had given her more freedom and she had talked about wanting a family. "She wanted to have a family, and we talked about how we couldn't wait to kick back with our babies."
Dash expressed his belief that Aaliyah was the "one" and claimed the pair were not officially engaged, but had spoken about getting married prior to her death. Aaliyah publicly never addressed the relationship between her and Dash as being anything but platonic. In May 2001, she hosted a party for Dash's 30th birthday at a New York City club, where they were spotted together and Dash was seen escorting her to a bathroom. Addressing this, Aaliyah stated that she and Dash were just "very good friends" and chose to "keep it at that" for the time being. Just two weeks before her death, Aaliyah traveled from New Jersey to East Hampton, New York to visit Dash at the summer house he shared with Jay Z.
On August 25, 2001, at 6:50 p.m. (EDT), Aaliyah and the members of the record company boarded a twin-engine Cessna 402 light aircraft at the Marsh Harbour Airport in Abaco Islands, the Bahamas, to travel to the Opa-locka Airport in Florida, after they completed filming the music video for "Rock the Boat". They had a flight scheduled the following day, but with filming finishing early, Aaliyah and her entourage were eager to return to the U.S. and made the decision to leave immediately. The designated airplane was smaller than the Cessna 404 on which they had originally arrived, but the whole party and all of the equipment were accommodated on board. The plane crashed and caught fire shortly after takeoff, about 200 feet (60 m) from the end of the runway.
Aaliyah's private funeral services were held on August 31, 2001, at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel and at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan. Her body was set in a silver-plated copper-deposit casket, which was carried in a horse-drawn, glass hearse. An estimated 800 mourners were in attendance at the procession.
Immediately after Aaliyah's death, there was uncertainty over whether the music video for "Rock the Boat" would ever air. It made its world premiere on BET's Access Granted on October 9, 2001. She won two posthumous awards at the American Music Awards of 2002; Favorite Female R&B Artist and Favorite R&B/Soul Album for Aaliyah. Her second and final film, Queen of the Damned, was released in February 2002. Before its release, Aaliyah's brother, Rashad, re-dubbed some of her lines during post-production. It grossed US$15.2 million in its first weekend, ranking number one at the box office. On the first anniversary of Aaliyah's death, a candlelight vigil was held in Times Square; millions of fans observed a moment of silence; and throughout the United States, radio stations played her music in remembrance. In December 2002, a collection of previously unreleased material was released as Aaliyah's first posthumous album, I Care 4 U. A portion of the proceeds was donated to the Aaliyah Memorial Fund, a program that benefits the Revlon UCLA Women's Cancer Research Program and Harlem's Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. It debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 280,000 copies in its first week. The album's lead single, "Miss You", peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In August of the following year, clothing retailer Christian Dior donated profits from sales in honor of Aaliyah.
Aaliyah has been credited for helping redefine R&B, pop and hip hop in the 1990s, "leaving an indelible imprint on the music industry as a whole." According to Billboard, she revolutionized R&B with her sultry mix of pop, soul and hip hop. In a 2001 review of her eponymous album, Rolling Stone professed that Aaliyah's impact on R&B and pop has been enormous. Steve Huey of AllMusic wrote Aaliyah ranks among the "elite" artists of the R&B genre, as she "played a major role in popularizing the stuttering, futuristic production style that consumed hip-hop and urban soul in the late 1990s." Critic Bruce Britt stated that by combining "schoolgirl charm with urban grit, Aaliyah helped define the teen-oriented sound that has resulted in contemporary pop phenom's like Brandy, Christina Aguilera and Destiny's Child".
Described as one of "R&B's most important artists" during the 1990s, her second studio album, One in a Million, became one of the most influential R&B albums of the decade. Music critic Simon Reynolds cited "Are You That Somebody?" as "the most radical pop single" of 1998. Kelefah Sanneh of The New York Times wrote that rather than being the song's focal point, Aaliyah "knew how to disappear into the music, how to match her voice to the bass line", and consequently "helped change the way popular music sounds; the twitchy, beat-driven songs of Destiny's Child owe a clear debt to 'Are You That Somebody'." Sanneh asserted that by the time of her death in 2001, Aaliyah "had recorded some of the most innovative and influential pop songs of the last five years." Music publication Popdust called Aaliyah an unlikely queen of the underground for her influence on the underground alternative music scene; the publication also mentioned that the forward-thinking music Aaliyah did with Timbaland and the experimental music being made by many underground alternative artists are somewhat cut from the same cloth. While compiling a list of artists that take cues from Aaliyah, MTV Hive mentioned that it's easy to spot her influence on underground movements like dubstep, strains of indie pop, and lo-fi R&B movements. Erika Ramirez, an associate editor of Billboard, said at the time of Aaliyah's career "there weren't many artists using the kind of soft vocals the ways she was using it, and now you see a lot of artists doing that and finding success," her reasoning for Aaliyah's continued influence on current artists. She argued that Aaliyah's second album One in a Million was "very much ahead of its time, with the bass and electro kind of R&B sounds that they produced", referring to collaborators Timbaland and Missy Elliott and that the sound, which "really stood out" at its time, was being replicated. With sales of 8.1 million albums in the United States and an estimated 24 to 32 million albums worldwide, Aaliyah earned the nicknames "Princess of R&B" and "Queen of Urban Pop", as she "proved she was a muse in her own right". Ernest Hardy of Rolling Stone dubbed her as the "undisputed queen of the midtempo come-on". She has also been referred to as a pop and R&B icon for her impact and contributions to those respective genres.
Aaliyah was honored at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards by Janet Jackson, Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Ginuwine and her brother, Rashad, who all paid tribute to her. In the same year, the United States Social Security Administration ranked the name Aaliyah one of the 100 most popular names for newborn girls. Aaliyah was ranked as one of "The Top 40 Women of the Video Era" in VH1's 2003 The Greatest series. In 2020, Billboard included her on its 100 Greatest Music Video Artists of All Time list, explaining that she "coined the smooth choreography and tomboyish style that would inspire [R&B]'s future generations for years to come." She was also ranked at number 18 on BET's "Top 25 Dancers of All Time". Aaliyah appeared on both 2000 and 2001 list of Maxim Hot 100 in position 41 and the latter at 14. In 2002, VH1 created the 100 sexiest artist list and Aaliyah was ranked at number 36. In memory of Aaliyah, the Entertainment Industry Foundation created the Aaliyah Memorial Fund to donate money raised to charities she supported. In December 2009, Billboard magazine ranked Aaliyah at number 70 on its Top Artists of the Decade, while her eponymous album was ranked at number 181 on the magazine's Top 200 Albums of the Decade. She is listed by Billboard as the tenth most successful female R&B artist of the past 25 years, and 27th most successful R&B artist overall. In 2012, VH1 ranked her number 48 in "VH1's Greatest Women in Music". Also in 2012, Aaliyah was ranked at number 10 on Complex magazine's 100 hottest female singers of all-time list and number 22 on their 90 hottest women of the 1990s list. In 2014, NME ranked Aaliyah at number 18 on NME's 100 most influential artist list. Aaliyah's dress that she wore at the 2000 MTV Video Music Award's was featured in the most memorable fashion moments at the VMA's list by the fashion publication Harper's Bazaar. In October 2015, Aaliyah was featured in the 10 women who became Denim Style icons list created by the fashion publication Vogue. In August 2018, Billboard ranked Aaliyah at number 47 on their Top 60 Female Artists of All-Time list.
Aaliyah was initially entombed in a crypt on the third floor of the expansion wing of Ferncliff Cemetery's main mausoleum in Hartsdale, New York. In April 2005, she was moved to a private room at the end of a corridor in the Rosewood Mausoleum. The inscription "BABY GIRL" appears on Aaliyah's crypt. Her father Michael, who died eleven years later in 2012 at age 61, is interred in the crypt directly above her. The inscription at the bottom of Aaliyah's portrait at the funeral read: "We Were Given a Queen, We Were Given an Angel."
In 2005, Aaliyah's second compilation album, Ultimate Aaliyah was released in the UK by Blackground Records. Ultimate Aaliyah is a three disc set, which included a greatest hits audio CD and a DVD. Andy Kellman of AllMusic remarked "Ultimate Aaliyah adequately represents the shortened career of a tremendous talent who benefited from some of the best songwriting and production work by Timbaland, Missy Elliott, and R. Kelly." A documentary movie Aaliyah Live in Amsterdam was released in 2011, shortly before the tenth anniversary of Aaliyah's death. The documentary, by Pogus Caesar, contained previously unseen footage shot of her career beginnings in 1995 when she was appearing in the Netherlands.
Aaliyah's music has influenced numerous artists including Adele, The Weeknd, Ciara, Beyoncé, Monica, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Azealia Banks, Sevyn Streeter, Keyshia Cole, J. Cole, Ryan Destiny Kelly Rowland, Zendaya, Rita Ora, The xx, Arctic Monkeys, Speedy Ortiz, Chelsea Wolfe, Haim, Angel Haze, Kiesza, Naya Rivera, Normani Cassie, Hayley Williams, Jessie Ware, Yeasayer, Bebe Rexha, Omarion, Megan Rochell, and Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander. Canadian R&B singer Keshia Chanté who was said to play as her in her pending biopic back in 2008, complimented the singer's futuristic style in music and fashion. Chanté backed out of the biopic after speaking to Diane Haughton, but has expressed a willingness to do the project if "the right production comes along and the family's behind it". Chanté also mentioned that Aaliyah had been part of her life "since I was 6." R&B singer and friend Brandy said about the late singer "She came out before Monica and I did, she was our inspiration. At the time, record companies did not believe in kid acts and it was just inspiring to see someone that was winning and winning being themselves. When I met her I embraced her, I was so happy to meet her." Rapper Drake said that the singer has had the biggest influence on his career. He also has a tattoo of the singer on his back. Solange Knowles remarked on the tenth anniversary of her death that she idolized Aaliyah and proclaimed that she would never be forgotten. Adam Levine, the lead vocalist of the pop rock group Maroon 5, remembers that listening to "Are You That Somebody?" convinced him to pursue a more soulful sound than that of his then-band Kara's Flowers. Japanese pop singer Hikaru Utada has said several times that "It was when I heard Aaliyah's Age Ain't Nothing but a Number that I got hooked on R&B.", after which Utada released her debut album First Love with heavy R&B influences. Another Japanese pop singer Crystal Kay has expressed how she admired Aaliyah when she was growing up and how she would practice dancing while watching her music videos. In 2012, British singer-songwriter Katy B released the song Aaliyah as a tribute to Aaliyah's legacy and lasting impression on R&B music. The song first appeared on Katy B's Danger EP and featured Jessie Ware on guest vocals. In 2016, Swedish singer-songwriter Erik Hassle released a song titled "If Your Man Only Knew" which serves as a tribute to Aaliyah's 1996 single "If Your Girl Only Knew".
Aaliyah was signed to appear in several future films, including Honey, a romantic film titled Some Kind of Blue, and a Whitney Houston-produced remake of the 1976 film Sparkle. Whitney Houston recalled Aaliyah being "so enthusiastic" about the film and wanting to appear in the film "so badly". Houston also voiced her belief that Aaliyah was more than qualified for the role and the film was shelved after she died, since Aaliyah had "gone to a better place". Studio officials of Warner Brothers stated that Aaliyah and her mother had both read the script for Sparkle. According to them, Aaliyah was passionate about playing the lead role of a young singer in a girl group. The film was released in 2012, eleven years after Aaliyah's death. Before her death Aaliyah was cast in the sequels of The Matrix as the character Zee. She had filmed part of her role in The Matrix Reloaded and was scheduled to film and reprise her role in The Matrix Revolutions as Zee. Aaliyah told Access Hollywood that she was "beyond happy" to have landed the role. The role was subsequently recast to Nona Gaye. Aaliyah's scenes were included in the tribute section of the Matrix Ultimate Collection series.
In March 2012, music producer Jeffrey "J-Dub" Walker announced on his Twitter account that a song "Steady Ground", which he produced for Aaliyah's third album, would be included in the forthcoming posthumous Aaliyah album. This second proposed posthumous album would feature this song using demo vocals, as Walker claims the originals were somehow lost by his sound engineer. Aaliyah's brother Rashad later refuted Walker's claim, claiming that "no official album [is] being released and supported by the Haughton family." On August 5, 2012, Blackground Records released the track "Enough Said" online. It was produced by Noah "40" Shebib and features Canadian rapper Drake. Four days later, Jomo Hankerson confirmed a posthumous album is being produced and that it was scheduled to be released by the end of 2012 by Blackground Records. The album was reported to include 16 unreleased songs and have contributions from Aaliyah's longtime collaborators Timbaland and Missy Elliott, among others. On August 13, Timbaland and Missy Elliott dismissed rumors about being contacted or participating for the project. Elliott's manager Mona Scott-Young said in a statement to XXL, "Although Missy and Timbaland always strive to keep the memory of their close friend alive, we have not been contacted about the project nor are there any plans at this time to participate. We've seen the reports surfacing that they have been confirmed to participate but that is not the case. Both Missy and Timbaland are very sensitive to the loss still being felt by the family so we wanted to clear up any misinformation being circulated." Elliott herself said, "Tim and I carry Aaliyah with us everyday, like so many of the people who love her. She will always live in our hearts. We have nothing but love and respect for her memory and for her loved ones left behind still grieving her loss. They are always in our prayers."
In June 2013, Aaliyah was featured on a new track by Chris Brown, titled "Don't Think They Know"; with Aaliyah singing the song's hook. The video features dancing holographic versions of Aaliyah. The song appears on Brown's sixth studio album, X. Timbaland voiced his disapproval for "Enough Said" and "Don't Think They Know" in July 2013. He exclaimed, "Aaliyah music only work with its soulmate, which is me". Soon after, Timbaland apologized to Chris Brown over his remarks, which he explained were made due to Aaliyah and her death being a "very sensitive subject". In January 2014, producer Noah "40" Shebib confirmed that the posthumous album was shelved due to the negative reception surrounding Drake's involvement. Shebib added, "Aaliyah's mother saying, 'I don't want this out' was enough for me ... I walked away very quickly."
There has been continuing belief that Aaliyah would have achieved greater career success had it not been for her death. Emil Wilbekin mentioned the deaths of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur in conjunction with hers and added: "Her just-released third album and scheduled role in a sequel to The Matrix could have made her another Janet Jackson or Whitney Houston". Director of Queen of the Damned Michael Rymer said of Aaliyah, "God, that girl could have gone so far" and spoke of her having "such a clarity about what she wanted. Nothing was gonna step in her way. No ego, no nervousness, no manipulation. There was nothing to stop her." On July 18, 2014, it was announced that Alexandra Shipp replaced Zendaya for the role of Aaliyah for the Lifetime TV biopic movie Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, which premiered on November 15, 2014. Zendaya drew criticism because people felt that she was too light skinned and did not greatly resemble Aaliyah. She voiced her strong respect for Aaliyah before dropping out of the project. She explained her choice to withdraw from the film in videos on Instagram. Aaliyah's family has been vocal in their disapproving of the film. Her cousin Jomo Hankerson stated the family would prefer a "major studio release along the lines" of What's Love Got to Do with It, the biopic based on the life of Tina Turner. Aaliyah's family has consulted a lawyer to stop Lifetime from using "any of the music, or any of the photographs and videos" they own and Jomo Hankerson claimed the TV network "didn't reach out." On August 9, 2014, it was announced that Chattrisse Dolabaille and Izaak Smith had been cast as Aaliyah's collaborators Missy Elliott and Timbaland. Dolabaille received criticism for her appearance in comparison with that of Missy Elliot. Despite negative reviews, the film's premiere drew 3.2 million viewers, becoming the second highest rated television movie of 2014.
She was featured on the Tink track "Million", which was released in May 2015 and contained samples from her song "One in a Million". Collaborator Timbaland was involved in the song's creation, having previously claimed that Aaliyah appeared to him in a dream and stressed that Tink was "the one".
In September 2015, Aaliyah by Xyrena, an official tribute fragrance was announced.
On December 19, 2015, Timbaland uploaded a snippet of a new Aaliyah song title "He Keeps Me Shakin" on his Instagram account and said it would be released December 25, 2015, on the Timbaland mixtape King Stays King. On August 24, 2017 MAC Cosmetics announced that an Aaliyah collection will be made available in the summer of 2018. The Aaliyah for Mac collection was released on June 20 online and June 21 in stores, along with the MAC collection, MAC and i-D Magazine partnered up to release a short film titled "A-Z of Aaliyah" which coincided with the launch. The short film highlighted and celebrated the legacy of Aaliyah with the help of select fans who were selected to be a part of the film through a casting call competition held by Mac and i-d magazine. The Aaliyah for Mac collectors box was sold at $250 and it sold out within minutes during the first day of its initial release. Madame Tussauds will be honoring Aaliyah with a wax figure at their Las Vegas location starting August 22, 2019.
The 2019 documentary Surviving R. Kelly revealed new details about their relationship and marriage. Jovante Cunningham, a former backup dancer, claimed to have witnessed Kelly having sex with Aaliyah on his tour bus while Demetrius Smith again recounted the time Kelly feared that he had impregnated her. Smith also described how he helped Aaliyah forge the necessary documents to show she was 18 and that the wedding was short and unceremonious, as neither was dressed up and Aaliyah looked "worried and scared" the whole time. Smith states that he is "not proud" of his role in facilitating their illegal marriage.
Currently, Aaliyah is 43 years, 4 months and 6 days old. Aaliyah will celebrate 44th birthday on a Monday 16th of January 2023.
Find out about Aaliyah birthday activities in timeline view here.