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Aaliyah, known as the "angel of R&B music" was a singer, dancer, actress, and model. She was known for her angelic voice, redefining hip-hop and R&B, her fashion trends in the 1990's and being Timbaland and Missy's protege. Born in Brooklyn but raised in Detroit, Aaliyah discovered her musical talents at a young age. Aaliyah's music career began when she was on Star Search . Her performance was excellent on the show, but she lost. But Aaliyah "dusted herself off and tried again " in the music industry. She was signed to Jive Records in 1994 and her mentor was R.Kelly, the Pied Piper of R&B. But, in 1996, Aaliyah spread her wings and flew musically when she ended her contract with Jive Records. Many speculated an illegal marriage among Kelly and Aaliyah.
After this important transition in her career, she started working with Missy and Timbaland. She built a long lasting friendship with Timbaland and Missy up until her death in 2001. Aaliyah recorded many hit singles, received endorsement deals in fashion, and starred in films, Romeo Must Die with Jet Li and DMX and Queen of the Damned . But Aaliyah's life was cut short at the age of 22. She died in a plane crash with eight other passengers after filming her last video, "Rock the Boat," in the Bahamas. It was a difficult time for the music industry because Aaliyah was a talented recording artist who was a sweetheart at heart. Also, she was engaged to music executive and business man, Damon Dash. Hip-hop, Pop and R&B artists loved the late songbird because many, including, DMX said, "she was truly an angel on earth." Her last album was I Care For You in 2002. The album was her greatest hits album along with four new songs.
Even though Aaliyah is no longer with us, she will forever be remembered! Aaliyah was too sweet and talented to be forgotten. She is still considered to be one of the Top 40 Women of the Video Era, she is still the Queen of Urban Pop, one of the top 25 dancers according to BET, and one of the most successful female R&B artists over the past 25 years. Aaliyah, we love you and miss you!
All praises to the "Angel/ Princess of R&B"
10. "Back and Forth" The single was released in 1994 from Aaliyah's debut album, Age Ain't Nothing But a Number . It was written by R&B musical genius, R. Kelly. The record went Gold and it was number one on the Billboard charts for three weeks. Since Aaliyah was 15 at the time, she wanted to sing a song that was age appropriate. The content of the song is having a good time with friends on a Friday night.
9. "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number"- This song was also written and produced by R. Kelly. It was a popular hit and Aaliyah's third single. But, it was a flop in terms of record sales and musical charts. It was # 75 on the Billboard charts and it wasn't a top 10 single. However, it is still an important anthem in relationships because your significant partner may feel you're too young or old for them. But according to Ms. Aaliyah, love shouldn't be based on age only.
8. "At Your Best (You Are Love)" The song is from her debut album as well. It is still a popular love song for young couples falling in love. The song was played in the coming of age movie, ATL with T.I and Lauren London. However, the Isley Brothers recorded the song and Aaliyah did the remake in 1994 but with an urban twist. And almost 19 years later, it is still one of Aaliyah's biggest hits. The record went Gold and it was number 2 on the R&B charts during the time.
7."If Your Girl Only Knew-" This song is from her second album, One in a Million . Also during the time Aaliyah started working with Timbaland and Missy Elliot after she ended her professional relationship with R. Kelly. The song was released in 1996 and it was number #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is considered to be a dance, pop and R&B song. Aaliyah talks about a guy trying to mingle with her yet he has a girlfriend. And Aaliyah knows the woman would not approve of that. That's why she says in the song, "If your girl only knew, that you were dissing her to talk to me, she would probably leave you alone, curse you out and unplug her phone."
6. "More Than a Woman-" This song is from her self titled album Aaliyah in 2001. It was also Aaliyah's third album. Timbaland and Static Major wrote the Grammy nominated song. The song was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 45th Grammy awards. It was a number one hit in the United Kingdom and was on the Billboard charts for 22 weeks. The video of the song was directed by veteran director, Dave Myers and at the end of the video it said, "In the Memory of Aaliyah." This was mentioned because the single was released in November '01 and she died in August.
5. "Rock the Boat" This song was also from Aaliyah's third album. It was one of Aaliyah's biggest hits as well. The song was on the Billboard Hot 100 for 25 weeks. It was one of the best songs in the summer of '01 due to the production of the video.The song was also nominated for a Grammy as well. In the song, Aaliyah talks about her man giving instant sexual gratification. It's like his sex drive is her drug because he is top notch in this area. She said, "I want you to rock the boat/ Work it in the middle / Change positions for me / Now stroke it, baby ... I feel like I'm on dope."
4. "Try Again" "Try Again" was also a Grammy nominated single and Aaliyah recorded the song in 2000. Producers Static Major and Timbaland wrote the song. It also received two MTV Video Music Awards, "Best Female Video," and "Best Video from a Film." Aaliyah recorded the song for the Romeo Must Die movie which she starred in as well. It's dance, R&B and pop song and it was the number one single for the soundtrack. The song's hook is powerful because it urges people do try again when things are not going your way in life. Aaliyah said, "If at first you don't succeed/You can dust it off and try again/Dust yourself off and try again."
3. " Miss You" The song was released in 2002, after Aaliyah died. The song was written by Johnta Austin, Ginuwine and Teddy Bishop. The single was unreleased but it was featured on Aaliyah's compilation album, I Care For You . The single was a number one hit for Aaliyah and music producer, Darren Grant directed the video. Aaliyah was deceased when the music video was in production but Grant wanted to keep her legacy alive. So he asked some of Aaliyah's close friends, collaborators, actors, celebrities and television personalities to star in the video. A.J, Free, Queen Latifah, Lil Kim, Missy Elliot, DMX, Rosario Dawson, Elise Neal, Toni Braxton, Nick Cannon, Static Major, Tank, and many more.
2. "One in a Million" The song was from her second album, One in a Million in 1996. Missy and Timbaland wrote and produced the song. During the time, it was a different sound for Aaliyah because she was more mature and catering to a larger fan base. It is also one of Aaliyah's number one hits and a top 20 hit in the United Kingdom. It is considered to be a classic from Aaliyah and artists, Omarion, Keshia Cante, and The Dream covered her song.
1. "Are You that Somebody," The song was released in June of 1998 from the Dr. Dolittle soundtrack. Producers Static Major and Timbaland wrote, produced and composed the song. The song samples the sound of a baby cooing from Perrey and Kingsley's 1966 hit "Countdown at 6" and D. Train's 1982 dance classic "You're the One for Me." The song blends with musical genres, dance, pop, R&B and electronic music. Furthermore, Timbaland sang background and rapped on the record as well. "Are You That Somebody," was nominated for a Grammy award, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. It is Aaliyah's best hit according to Blender Magazine's piece, The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born, Spin magazine's Top 20 Singles of the 90's, 5th on The Village Voice's 1998 Pazz & Jop critics,' and Pitchfork Media included the song at number 8 on their Top 200 Tracks of the 90s. The video was also MTV's most popular video in 1998. Lastly, Rolling Stone magazine said the single "remains one of '90s' R&B's most astounding moments."