R&B sensation Aaliyah died at the age of 22 in a plane crash in the Bahamas. 10 years on, the music industry paused to mark the sad anniversary.
Twitter was overwhelmed by stars paying homage to the young star. “RIP Aaliyah,” wrote Diddy.
“I’ve grown up to you, idolized you, watched others try to capture what you had to no avail. You are the one & only Aaliyah! Never forgotten.” Solange Knowles Tweeted.
Missy Elliott, who worked closely with Aaliyah on her second album, One in a Million, told EW: “It doesn’t feel like it’s been 10 years because Aaliyah’s leaving is still fresh in our minds and always will be. What I will miss the most about Aaliyah is her laugh and smile. She could light up any room. … I’ll also miss recording with her because she wasn’t ever scared to push boundaries as an artist.”
Aaliyah Haughton was born in 1979 in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She was discovered at the age of 10 when she appeared on a television show called Star Search. By the age of 12 she had signed to Jive and her uncle’s label Blackground Records.
It was her uncle, Barry Hankerson, who introduced Aaliyah to successful recording artist R. Kelly and together they produced the star’s debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, which sold over 3 million copies in the US. She later faced allegations of an illegal marriage to R.Kelly and traded her Jive contract for one with Atlantic Records.
She worked with prominent producers Missy Elliott and Timbaland on album number two, One in a Million, which sold almost 4 million copies in the US and starred in the film Romeo Must Die, which spawned her biggest hit Try Again. The single earned her a Grammy Award nomination and topped the Billboard Top 100 solely on airplay, making Aaliyah the first artist in Billboard history to achieve this.
In 2001, the year of her death, Aaliyah realeased her final, eponymous album and played a role in Queen of the Damned. On August 25th, she died along with eight others in a plane which crashed in The Bahamas, She had just finished filming the music video to Rock The Boat.
The pilot was unlicensed at the time and traces of cocaine and alcohol were found in his system during the post mortem. Aaliyah’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Blackhawk International Airways after the singer’s death, which was settled out of court.
She is listed by Billboard as the 10th most successful female R&B artist of the past 25 years and 27th most successful R&B artist overall.
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