Aaliyah Haughton life and biography

Aaliyah Haughton picture, image, poster

Aaliyah Haughton biography

Date of birth : 1979-01-16
Date of death : 2001-08-25
Birthplace : New York, New York
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-04-07
Credited as : Pop singer and actress, airplane crash, R. Kelly

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Born Aaliyah Dani Haughton on January 16, 1979, in Brooklyn, NY; died on August 25, 2001, in Abaco, Bahamas; daughter of Diane Haughton (nee Hankerson) and Michael Haughton; education: Detroit High School for the Performing Arts, graduate, 1997.

Released Age Ain't Nothing But A Number, 1994; released One In A Million, 1996; sung "Journey To The Past," for Anastasia soundtrack, 1997; released "Are You That Somebody?" for Dr. Dolittle soundtrack, 1998; released "Try Again," for Romeo Must Die soundtrack, 2000; made film debut, Romeo Must Die, 2000; starred in Queen of the Damned, 2002.

Life's Work
When Aaliyah debuted in 1994, most thought she was just the latest teenage singer. But Aaliyah proved that she was a very capable and talented singer. She released two albums that reached platinum status, a slew of singles that graced the top ten lists and then switched gears and landed praise as an actress, all before turning 22.

Aaliyah was born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 16, 1979, to Diane and Michael Haughton. The family, including older brother Rashaad, moved to Detroit, Michigan, when she was five years old. From an early age, Aaliyah knew she wanted to perform. "I've been singing all my life," she told Vibe. "I sang in my church, and school and my parents gave me vocal lessons," she continued. At the age of seven, Aaliyah started trying out for school plays. She credited her parents for supporting her interest in music.

Aaliyah's uncle, Barry Hankerson, began managing her career when she was nine. A turning point came when she appeared on the show Star Search. "It was really, really cute," she told Detail. "I sang 'My Funny Valentine,'" she added. Although she lost, Aaliyah did not let this setback discourage her. At eleven years old, she performed for a week in Las Vegas with Gladys Knight, who, at the time, was Hankerson's wife. Aaliyah sung the song, "Home," halfway through the set, and, at the finale, she and Knight sang a duet together--"Believe in Yourself."

When Hankerson founded his record label, Blackground Enterprises, he signed Aaliyah when she was 14 as his first act. Also around that time Hankerson introduced his niece to R. Kelly, a famous R&B singer who was managed by Hankerson's Midwest Entertainment Group. Kelly took creative control of what would be Aaliyah's first album, Age Ain't Nothing But a Number.

Record Went Number One Amidst Controversy
Age's first single, "Back & Forth," spent three weeks at number one on the R&B charts. The record also broke the top five on the Billboard charts. Aaliyah's second single, "At Your Best (You Are Love)," also made the top ten on the R&B charts, peaking at number two. Around the time of her third single, the album's title cut, rumors began circulating that the 14-year-old and her producer, Kelly, had eloped. Rolling Stone even claimed that the Cook County Clerk's Office had a marriage license which proved Robert Kelly and Aaliyah Haughton, listed on the license to be 18, had been married in Rosemont, Illinois. According to Clickondetroit.com, the marriage was annulled because her parents had not given their permission. "I'm not married," she told Vibe, "that's all I want to say about it."

Aaliyah followed her debut album with nearly a year of touring that took her across the United States and around the world. While on the road, she maintained a 3.8 grade point average at the Detroit High School for the Performing Arts where she was a dance major. Aaliyah graduated from high school in 1997.

For her second album, One in a Million, Aaliyah chose to work with new producers Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott and Timbaland. She also switched distributors, from Jive Records to Atlantic. The record was released in the fall of 1996, and by year's end it was obvious that Aaliyah had scored another hit. Her first single, "If Your Girl Only Knew," zoomed to number one; a year later the album went double platinum and had surpassed the first record in sales.

Branched Out to Fashion and Soundtracks
In late 1997 Aaliyah recorded "Journey to the Past" for the Anastasia soundtrack, a song that is Disney pop rather than R&B. She performed the song during the televised Oscars broadcast, where it won for Best Song in a Motion Picture. Aaliyah also took part in Tommy Hilfiger's Tommy Jeans ad campaign. The ads, which included a number of celebrities, showed her sporting men's boxers under baggy jeans while wearing a tube top with the Hilfiger logo. "It created a whole new look. It was sexy but classic," Andy Hilfiger told Vibe. Aaliyah adopted this as her style along with covering her left eye with her hair, like the late actress Veronica Lake.

Aaliyah released several singles for various soundtracks. The single, "Are You That Somebody?", with its infectious hooks and beats, climbed the charts. It was also the biggest hit of her career. Aaliyah hit pay dirt again for the single, "Try Again" off the Romeo Must Die soundtrack. She even won two MTV awards for the song.

Not only did Aaliyah contribute a song for the film, but she made her acting debut. Romeo Must Die, which combined hip-hop and kung fu, was a marginal hit and the critics ripped the movie to shreds. But many praised Aaliyah's performance. Entertainment Weekly said her debut was "impressive." In 2001, she also starred in Queen of the Damned, a sequel to Interview With a Vampire. Michael Rymer, Queen's director, told Vibe, "There were two factors for casting Aaliyah. I was very keen that Akasha, an Egyptian queen, not look like Elizabeth Taylor, and not only did [Aaliyah] do a good job on Romeo Must Die, but people went to see her. " Aaliyah told Vibe, "I have to exude power and be regal....It was the dream role, so I worked very hard." None should be surprised that she conquered Hollywood. "Music was my first love, but acting is something I've always been interested in," she told the Dallas Morning News.

Released Third Album
Aaliyah filmed Queen in Australia where she also worked on her third self-titled album. It was released in July of 2001, five years after her last album. It showcased her broadening range as a vocalist. "I really wanted to show my versatility," she remarked to the Dallas Morning News. As she made the rounds promoting her album, Aaliyah signed up for a role in the upcoming sequels to The Matrix, where she hoped to get in on the action. "There's nothing like a strong woman who kicks butt," she exclaimed to Time magazine. She was also slated to star in the upcoming film, Some Kind of Blue and the Sparkle remake. However, this wasn't meant to be. After filming a video for her song, "Rock The Boat," in the Bahamian island of Abaco, Aaliyah and eight others boarded a plane for Miami. The plane took off and rose 200 feet before plunging and crashing. Aaliyah died instantly on August 25, 2001.

Aaliyah's death took many by surprise. Her record company, Virgin Records called her "one of the world's brightest and most talented stars," according to the Associated Press. Paul Allen, a Detroit producer who worked with Aaliyah on her second album, told the Detroit Free Press, "she was on the cusp of exploding." According to the Detroit News, Quincy Jones stated, "She was one of the sweetest girls in the world... .I loved her and respected her."

Aaliyah stepped on the scene as a 14-year-old ingenue and then found herself knee-deep in controversy. Not only did she rise above the situation and soon charted her biggest hits and made a dazzling film debut. Though her death may have cut short her rise to stardom, Aaliyah's impact will not be forgotten. Her uncle, Barry Hankerson, released this statement at www.aaliyah2001.com: "The example she showed young people will be sorely missed and we hope her short time on earth will be an inspiration to young people all over the world."

Two MTV Awards for "Try Again," 2000; Grammy nomination for "Try Again," 2001; "Journey to the Past," won Oscar, 2000.

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