b. Aaliyah Dana Haughton, 16 January 1979, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA, d. 25 August 2001, Marsh Harbour, Abaco Island, Bahamas, West Indies. Although she grew up in Detroit, Michigan, Aaliyah pronounced Ah-Lee-Yah (“highest, most exalted one” in Swahili), initially came to attention as part of the “new jill swing’ movement in the mid-90s. Her early career was fostered by R. Kelly (although rumours of a personal relationship were never substantiated), and 1994″s debut Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number included the US Top 10 singles “Back & Forth” and “At Your Best (You Are Love)”. She travelled to Kelly’s home in Chicago for the sessions while she was still a student at the Detroit High School of the Performing Arts. She remained a “straight A’s’ student throughout the first stage of her recording career, persevering with her education despite commercial success. After breaking her partnership with Kelly, Aaliyah released 1996″s superior follow-up, One In A Million, on which she worked with hotshot producer Timbaland. Soundtrack work followed, with contributions to Anastasia (“Journey To The Past”) and Dr. Dolittle (“Are You That Somebody?”). Aaliyah also began filming on her screen debut in Andrzej Bartkowiak’s Romeo Must Die. “Try Again”, taken from the movie soundtrack, went to the top of the US singles chart in June 2000. The following year’s self-titled third album demonstrated a new maturity and confidence, with Aaliyah publically bidding farewell to her teenage years and fashioning a bold new sound with collaborator Timbaland. Tragedy struck in August 2001 when, after filming a video in the Bahamas, Aaliyah and various members of her record company attempted to fly home. The small light aircraft crashed killing Aaliyah and her entourage. Her third album posthumously climbed to the number 1 position in America, while in the UK “More Than A Woman” reached the top of the singles chart in January 2002.
She’s true to style. Ever since defining the look and sound of street-but-sweet over two years ago, Aaliyah has personified originality with her enigmatic, smooth vocal delivery, sophisticated musical sensibilities, and a masterful sense of independence. The New York-born singer’s 1994 debut album, “AGE AIN’T NOTHING BUT A NUMBER,” went platinum and spawned a pair of gold singles: “Back & Forth” and “At Your Best (You Are Love)”. “I still remember how nervous I was right before ‘Back & Forth’ came out,” says the charismatic vocalist, who recorded her debut album at age fourteen. “It was my first single, and I kept wondering if people would accept it. When it went gold, I had my answer, and it was just such an incredibly satisfying feeling.” She spent much of a whirlwind ’94-’95 on the road, with tours that took her across Europe, Japan, and as far as South Africa.
The release of “ONE IN A MILLION,” her second album (and her first for Atlantic), comes just as Aaliyah begins her senior year as a student at Detroit’s Performing Arts High School. “School is a big priority for me,” says the dance major. “My principal hasreally been there to help me keep my goals as a student in hand as I work to grow as an artist.”
Aaliyah began performing at a young age, and by the time she was eleven, she was singing on stage in Las Vegas for a five-night stand with Gladys Knight’s troupe. From there, the dedicated singer would emerge from a non-stop vocal training regimen with a sound and vision completely her own. “It came out of nowhere, yet it felt totally natural,” recalls Aaliyah. “I was tripped out. As that first album was coming to a finish, I waslistening back to the tracks thinking, ‘Wow, that’s really me. This is how I am and how Isound.'”
RELEASE TITLE: One In A Million
RELEASE BLURB: On Aaliyah’s new album, “ONE IN A MILLION,” the now seventeen-year-old artist steps out into “the new world of funk,” delivering a fresh set of soulful romantic ballads and dope up-tempo tracks. She offers a solid nod to hip-hop inspiration in duet fashion, with the help of mic rockers Treach on “A Girl Like You” and Slick Rick on a playfully bad house party take on Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.”