Aaliyah Dana Haughton was an American singer, dancer, actress, and model. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Detroit, at the age of 10, she appeared on the television show Star Search and performed in concert alongside Gladys Knight. At age 12, Aaliyah signed with Jive Records and her uncle Barry Hankersons Blackground Records, Hankerson introduced her to R. Kelly, who became her mentor, as well as lead songwriter and producer of her debut album, Age Aint Nothing but a Number. The album sold three million copies in the United States and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. After facing allegations of a marriage with R. Kelly, Aaliyah ended her contract with Jive. Aaliyah worked with record producers Timbaland and Missy Elliott for her album, One in a Million. In 2000, Aaliyah appeared in her first film, Romeo Must Die and she contributed to the films soundtrack, which spawned the single Try Again. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 solely on airplay, making Aaliyah the first artist in Billboard history to achieve this goal, Try Again earned Aaliyah a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocalist. After completing Romeo Must Die, Aaliyah filmed her role in Queen of the Damned and she released her third and final album, Aaliyah, in July 2001. On August 25,2001, Aaliyah and eight others were killed in a crash in the Bahamas after filming the music video for the single Rock the Boat. The pilot, Luis Morales III, was unlicensed at the time of the accident and toxicology tests revealed that he had traces of cocaine, Aaliyahs family later filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Blackhawk International Airways, which was settled out of court. Aaliyahs music has continued to achieve success with several posthumous releases. Aaliyah has sold an estimated 24 to 32 million albums worldwide and she has been credited for helping redefine contemporary R&B, pop and hip hop, earning her the nicknames Princess of R&B and Queen of Urban Pop. She is listed by Billboard as the tenth most successful female R&B artist of the past 25 years, Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born on January 16,1979, in Brooklyn, New York, and was the younger child of Diane and Michael Miguel Haughton. She was African American, and had Native American heritage from a grandmother, at a young age, Aaliyah was enrolled in voice lessons by her mother. She started performing at weddings, church choir and charity events, when she 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, from then on, she was determined to become an entertainer. In Detroit, her father working in the warehouse business
Aaliyah in 2000
Aaliyah was introduced to R. Kelly (pictured), who became her mentor, as well as lead songwriter and producer on her debut album.