Saturday, August 25, 2007

6 Year Anniversary Of The Death Of Singer/Actress Aaliyah

Aaliyah Dana Haughton (January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001), best known simply as Aaliyah, was an American singer, dancer, model and actress. Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Detroit, Michigan from the age of 5, Aaliyah was introduced to audiences by R&B singer R. Kelly. Aaliyah became famous during the mid-1990s with several hit records from the songwriting/production team of Missy Elliott & Timbaland and their associate Steve "Static" Garrett. Aaliyah soon joined Timbaland's R&B and hip hop collective, the Superfriends Clique.

Aaliyah signed with her uncle Barry Hankerson's Blackground Records label in 1993 at the age of 14. She released her debut album, titled Age Ain't Nothing but a Number, in 1994 at the age of 15. R. Kelly, was a leading songwriter and producer on her debut album.

One In A Million, Aaliyah's second album, was chiefly written and produced by then-unknowns Missy Elliott and Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley. One in a Million was released on August 27, 1996 when Aaliyah was 17 years of age. The album became a landmark in Aaliyah's career, garnering her mass critical acclaim. The album was certified double-platinum within a year, making Aaliyah a major R&B star and igniting the successful careers of Missy Elliott and Timbaland.

In 2000, Aaliyah co-starred with Jet Li in the martial arts film Romeo Must Die, which debuted at number one at the box office. Aaliyah and Timbaland executive produced the film's soundtrack album and Aaliyah contributed four songs: "Are You Feelin' Me?," "I Don't Wanna," "Come Back in One Piece," a duet with rapper DMX, and the international number one hit "Try Again." Aaliyah made history once more when "Try Again" became the first song to ever reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 based solely on the strength of its radio airplay, without any single sales factored in.

Aaliyah's third studio album, the self-titled Aaliyah, was released on July 17, 2001. The album was an instant critical success. Aaliyah introduced a darker and edgier side to Aaliyah's music and was noted as having showcased her growth as an artist. Around the time of the album's recording and release she had been filming Queen of the Damned, which helped her show a dark and edgy side as her character was a deadly vampire villain. She also had just landed a role that was sure to make her an international film star: a part in the two sequels to The Matrix starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne.

On Saturday, August 25, 2001, at 6:49 pm (EST), just after completion of filming for the "Rock the Boat" video, Aaliyah and various members of her record company boarded a twin engine Cessna 402B (N8097W) at Marsh Harbour, Abaco Island, Bahamas to travel to Opa-Locka Airport near Miami, Florida. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff about 200 feet from the runway. Pilot Luis Morales III and all eight passengers, including 22 year-old Aaliyah, were killed in the aviation accident. According to findings from an inquest conducted by the coroner's office in the Bahamas, Aaliyah suffered from "severe burns and a blow to the head," in addition to severe shock. The coroner theorized that, even if Aaliyah had survived the crash, her recovery would have been virtually impossible given the severity of her injuries.

The private funeral for Aaliyah was held on August 31 at Saint Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church in Manhattan, NYC. A public memorial for Aaliyah was held at Cipriani's on 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan, NYC that same day and was open to the public for most of the day. I attended that memorial.

Aaliyah is missed and will always be remembered by her fans, friends and most importantly, by her family.

Rashad Haughton, Aaliyah's brother, wrote a special poem for his late sister.

Click here to read it on

Forever Young


Aaliyah Videos:

I Don't Wanna

One In A Million

We Need A Resolution

More Than a Woman

Are You That Somebody

I Miss U (Aaliyah tribute video)

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