Artist History

Aaliyah Dana Haughton also known as “Babygirl” was a American singer, dancer, actress, and model. She was born on January 16, 1979 in New York City. She was raised in Detroit. Her parents were Dana and Michael “Miguel” Haughton. She also had an older brother named Rashad they were very close. Her father was a warehouse business man and her mother was a vocalist she stay home most of the time.

Professional Career


Aaliyah started voice lesson when she began to talk.The first time she realized she wanted to be a performer was at the age of 10. She performed on a tv show called Star Search with R&B legend Gladys Knight. Then at the age of 12 she got signed to Jive Records and her uncle company Blackground Records. When Aaliyah was 14 years old her uncle Barry Hankerson introduced her to singer R. Kelly. He became her producer and her songwriter he produced the album Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.  That album had 3 million copies sold and a double platinum. The 2 most popular hits were the songs Back and Forth and At Your Best (Your Are Loved). At the age of 15 Aaliyah illegally married 27 year old R. Kelly.


At 17 years old, Aaliyah graduated from Detroit High School in 1997. She was apart of the Fine and Performing Arts dance program. During that year she also released her album, One in a Million. Produced by Timbaland  and featuring Missy Elliott. One in a Million sold 3 million copies and 8 million worldwide. One of the most popular hit was 4 page letter. Later in 1997 she recorded ” Journey of the Past” and was nominated for an Academy Award and theme song to the animated movie Anastasia. Her next soundtrack was Are You That Somebody? and become No. 1 on the charts. Aaliyah was now nominated for her first grammy award.


In 2000, Aaliyah released her first movie Romeo Must Die, starring actor Jet Li where they play Romeo and Juliet role. She was executive producer for the movie’s soundtrack and performed her newest hit Try Again. She received her second nomination for a grammy and MTV awards for best female video. In 2001 she played in her second movie Queen of the Damned it was released in theaters in 2002. She was signed to the sequel The Matrix with actor Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne. Her lasted final album was released in the year 2001 Aaliyah and was top of the Billboard 200. On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah died at the age of 22 in airplane crash in the Bahamas with 7 other people and the pilot.


Aaliyah Contemporaries are similar to many talented female artist and groups including Faith Evans, TLC, Xscape, Monica, and Toni Braxton. They all had a very unique and inspirational sound.


MTV Video Music Award -Best Female Video (2000) Try Again, Winner

MTV Video Music Award-Best Video from a Film (2000) Try Again, Winner

World Music Award- World’s Best Selling R&B Female (2001) Aaliyah, Nominee

Soul Train Music Award -Best R&B/Soul Single, Female (2002) Rock the Boat, Winner

American Music Award-Favorite Album Soul/R&B (2002) Aaliyah, Winner

American Music Award -Favorite Female Artist Soul/R&B (2002,2003) Aaliyah, Winner

NAACP Image Award- Outstanding Female Artist (2002) Aaliyah, Winner

NME Award- Best R&B/Soul Act (2002) Aaliyah, Winner


Social Involvement

Aaliyah helped many charities such as breast cancer prevention. She valued love, peace, and unity. Aaliyah has also inspired many girls and has stop young girls from going down the wrong road and put them on the right path.


Aaliyah had many artist that she was inspired by including Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Sade, En Vogue, Janet Jackson, and Prince.


Aaliyah was truly a phenomenal, inspirational,  and talented artist. She is my favorite artist to listen too. Her lyrics are unforgettable and her music set an outlet for many other artist today.

“If at first, you don’t succeed, you can dust it off and try again, dust yourself off and try again.”-Aaliyah

 “Everything is worth it. The hard work, the times when you’re tired, the times where you’re a bit sad… In the end, it’s all worth it because it really makes me happy. There’s nothing better than loving what you do.”-Aaliyah


  • Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number (1994)

  • One in a Million (1996)

  • Aaliyah (2001)

Work Cited

Wikipedia.com Editors, “Aaliyah“, Wikipedia, 28 November 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaliyah

Biography.com Editors, ” Aaliyah Biography” Biography, 2 April 2014, https://www.biography.com/musician/aaliyah

Harris, Aisha. ” What made Aaliyah so special is complicated” NPR, 25 August 2021, https://www.npr.org/2021/08/25/1030628420/what-made-aaliyah-so-special-is-more-complicated-than-it-seems

Huey, Steve. ” Artist Biography” AllMusic, https://www.allmusic.com/artist/aaliyah-mn0000578999/biography

Shantay. ” Aaliyah Dana Haughton“, Myhero, 7 May 2007,https://myhero.com/Aaliyah_LewisClark_hs_07_ul

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