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Aaliyah Dana Haughton (January 16, 1979 - August 25, 2001) was a singer and film actress.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and Detroit, Michigan, Aaliyah structured her compelling dreams and aspirations around music and acting. During her prime, Aaliyah's undeniable talent granted her an opportunity on the stage of Star Search as well as Las Vegas along with, her aunt, Gladys Knight.
In 1994, "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number" became Aaliyah's first debut album. R. Kelly, prominent producer and music coordinator, who connected with the singer through mutual relationships, saw fit to curate a sense-of-style of music to diligently shape the singer's uprising career.
In 1996, "One In A Million," Aaliyah's second album, was released on August 27th. According to Biography: "Helmed by the well-known pop producer Timbaland and featuring rap performer Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, 'One in a Million' portrayed the 17-year-old singer as a sultry hip-hop chanteuse with a self-confidence well beyond her years. The album garnered favorable reviews and sold two million copies."
Furthermore, Aaliyah gained greater recognition in 1997 when she recorded "Journey to the Past," an Academy Award-nominated theme song for the animation film "Anastasia". She performed the song for the telecast in 1998. During this year, Aaliyah also produced another project effort, "Are You That Somebody?" for 1998's "Dr. Dolittle," starring Eddie Murphy.
Through a special invitation by director and producer Michael Stevens and executive-producer George Stevens, Jr., Aaliyah participated in Christmas in Washington in 1997, for President Clinton and First Lady in an annual holiday event held in Washington, D.C., at the National Building Museum.
In 2000, Aaliyah landed her acting debut in the action film "Romeo Must Die," starring opposite martial arts star Jet Li in a scenario based Romeo and Juliet inspired story set in modern-day Los Angeles. Serving as executive producer of the movie's soundtrack, Aaliyah performed the hit single "Try Again," which granted her a second Grammy nomination as well as two MTV Music Video Awards.
In 2001, Aaliyah's third self-entitled album, "Aaliyah," which reached a successful acclaim on the Billboard album chart, was released in July. In addition, Anne Rice's bestselling novel "Queen of the Damned" graced the theater screens; Aaliyah received the title role as leading character Akasha.
Along with her optimistic future endeavors and plans, Aaliyah scored a major casting juncture when she signed to appear in two upcoming sequels to the blockbuster sci-fi thriller "The Matrix," starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne. On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah and eight others perished in a tragic plane crash located in the Bahamas.