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Aaliyah Dana Haughton ( January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001) was an American singer, actress, and model. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Detroit, she first gained recognition at the age of 10, when she appeared on the television show Star Search and performed in concert alongside Gladys Knight.

Signed to a recording contract at the age of 12, Aaliyah became an overnight R&B sensation. At the height of her stardom, a fatal plane crash ended her life.

Who Was Aaliyah?

Brooklyn-born Aaliyah Dana Haughton started voice lessons shortly after she learned to talk. Determined to be a star, she signed a contract with Jive Records at the age of 12 and came to popular acclaim in 1994. On her way home from a music video shoot in 2001, a plane crash killed Aaliyah and eight members of her film crew. She was 22 years old at the time of her death.

Early Life

Singer and actress Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born on January 16, 1979, in Brooklyn, New York. Raised in Detroit, Michigan, the young singer competed unsuccessfully on the television program Star Search at age 11. Later that same year, she performed with R&B legend Gladys Knight, the former wife of her uncle and manager, Barry Hankerson, at a five-night stand in Las Vegas.

Big Break

In 1994, at the age of 15, Aaliyah catapulted onto the R&B charts herself with her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number. Produced by the successful singer R. Kelly, the album quickly sold a million copies and eventually earned platinum status based largely on the success of two hit singles, “Back and Forth” and “At Your Best (You Are Love).” Later that year, tabloid reports surfaced claiming that the sultry teen singer had married the 27-year-old Kelly, but Aaliyah denied the union and the marriage was reportedly annulled.

 

 

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