15 Years ago today, tragic news made the world stop turning for many people who love music: The young and talented Aaliyah had died.
Aaliyah Was One In A Million
Many people believe she hadn’t reached her full potential yet. As an artist she was very much still on the rise for bigger things.
Princess Of R&B
Nevertheless, she’d already earned the title “Princess of R&B”. This is a quite an achievement, considering she was only 22, at the time of her death. At that time, she was already celebrating her 10th year in the music business.
The Early Days of Aaliyah’s Career
At the age of 10, she first tried to get into the business and entered Star Search, performing her own rendition of “My Funny Valentine”. It may have been an odd choice for a young kid, choosing an adult Jazz song, but everyone agreed she pulled it off, yet she didn’t win the competition.
In The Family
Musical talent ran in her family. Her mom was a singer and her aunt was Gladys Knight. While performing with her her desire to sing was fueled. She knew how to take her talent seriously and, even at that time, was working hard with a vocal coach to become the best she could be.
Her uncle, Gladys’ husband, managed her and his contacts led him to the infamous meeting with R. Kelly, with whom she launched her R&B career. One of the major things that made her stand out, was her voice, which seemed to be used with the greatest if ease. For people in the business, her dedication to her career earned her respect, especially considering she was just a 14 or 15 year old, at the time.
Finding Her Sound
However, it was her next collaboration and album that would define Aaliyah’s sound, as we know it. Her collaboration with R. Kelly couldn’t continue. Vibe Magazine broke the story of the two secretly being married and published the marriage certificate to prove it. Her parents were against it and ended the marriage and contact between the two.
A One In A Million Match
Her new label connected her with Timbaland and Missy Elliot. The three created “One In A Million” and introduced the world to a new fresh sound, building the careers of all three stars.
A Turning Point In R&B
Nowadays, you can see this as a signature album for Aaliyah, Timbaland and Missy, but the album didn’t hit it on immediately. However, once it did, it changed the sound of R&B forever. It’s even been credited to lay the foundation for other genres like Drum n Bass and Dubstep, as well as today’s R&B sounds.
More Than A Singer
When you’ve been singing since your tenth, you need new challenges. Aaliyah branched out in the world of acting, which exposed her to a new audience.
Her fashion style also attracted attention and it was clear that her fame was going to rise to another level, when her third, self-titled, album was released.
“Try Again”, her biggest hit, had already taken over the world when her life was taken, stealing away the chance for the world to see what she could become, but her impact is around everywhere.
Her official website is still up and running in memory of her.