Can you believe Aaliyah would have been 41 years old today? In August 2001, the 22-year-old star died in a plane crash and sent shockwaves across the music industry and left her loved ones and fans to carry on her legacy even 18 years later. But although her life was cut short on the verge of even more success, the music and movies Aaliyah left behind stand the test of time. We’re going to reflect on her life and some of the greatest moments “Baby Girl” shared with the world while she was here.
We got our first glimpse of the young singer on the mega-popular 90s talent show “Star Search” in 1989, where she enchanted the audience and living rooms across the country with her rendition of “My Funny Valentine”. Unfortunately, she didn’t win and cried a little bit on stage but little Aaliyah had no idea that was just the beginning of an iconic career.
In 1994, Aaliyah dropped “Back & Forth,” her debut single, and the accompanying music video was quite a revelation. Watching a girl with her stomach out, baggy clothes, and hanging out with guys on the basketball court was a sight for sore eyes also, not to mention that she has a smooth voice. Her debut album “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” peaked at number 3 on the charts, went double platinum, and spawned six solid singles.
Then Aaliyah switched the style up and she did it with one of hip-hop’s most powerful duo, Missy Elliott and Timbaland. Their musical relationship would flourish once Aaliyah signed to Blackground Records and Aaliyah will quickly become the “Baby Girl” in the family – both musically and personally. The title track for her 1996 album “One In A Million” topped the charts for two months and from there, Aaliyah’s career took off.
“Are you that somebody” from the “Dr. Dolittle Soundtrack” top charts and gave way for Aaliyah’s Oscars appearance in 1998, where we got to see Aaliyah in a dress and the red carpet was shaken. In 1999, Aaliyah was part of the Teen People’s Famed “21 under 21” list with Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Maya, Monica, and Usher. Tommy Hilfiger played a part in that achievement as well as she was a brand ambassador for Tommy Hilfiger.
March 22, 2000, was Aaliyah’s film debut starring in “Romeo Must Die” alongside Jet Li and was an international success grossing over $145 million at the box office while Aaliyah’s performance was met with solid reviews.
In 2001, Aaliyah grabbed a role in “The Matrix” sequel and gave us the video for “We Need a Resolution which showcased the matured yet still smooth version of the woman she was always destined to be. However, while filming in the music video for the first single from her self-titled album “Rock the Boat.” Aaliyah passed away in a plane crash on August 25, 2001. That may have been the day her life was cut short but that certainly was not the day her contributions to the music world ended. 18 years later, we still celebrate Aaliyah Dana Haughton. Happy birthday “Baby Girl.”