Editorial: Aaliyah

Today would have been the singers 37th birthday. So we thought we’d take a stroll down memory lane while paying homage to this undeniable beauty.

Back in 1994, Aaliayh burst on the scene with the R. Kelly assisted single Back & Forth.

“It’s Friday/and I’m ready to swing/ pick up my girls/and hit the party scene”

From the opening notes of the keyboard to the ending chorus, your attention is caught and you can’t help but feel nostalgic while simultaneously reenacting every 90s dance you’ve ever seen. Aaliyah would soon be on he right path to stardom. Back and Forth became a Top 10 hit on the charts, and her follow up single followed its predecessors foot steps.

At Your Best (You Are Love), an Isley Brothers cover, was released as her second single. While I personally prefer the Aaliyah’s solo version over Robert’s “Steppers remix” that was officially released, the melodic tune matched up perfectly with her calming voice and still continues to be a go to slow jam more than 20 years later.

The Age Ain’t But A Number era set the foundation for what was to come in the singers career; but her second project, One In A Million would break the mold.

Once ’96 rolled around, Aaliyah cut her controversial ties with singer/songwriter/producer R. Kelly and instead received a helping hand from up and coming producers Timbaland and Missy Elliott, who had previously worked with Devonte Swing of Jodeci, little did they know that their partnership would go on to make history. If Your Girl Only Knew was the first single to be released and peaked at number 11 on the billboard charts. But it was when the trio teamed up for the second single, the title track One In A Million, that she would make her mark on the industry. One In A Million would go on to be her biggest hit, spending 8 weeks at number one and a total of 26 weeks on the charts. The album would go on to be certified double platinum less than a year after its release.

After appearing on the Anastasia soundtrack with Journey To The Past, and being the youngest singer to perform at the Oscars at that time. She got herself another number one hit with Are You That Somebody?, from the Dr. Doolittle soundtrack. Aaliyah took a break to finish up school and wouldn’t return with another album until almost 5 years after releasing One In A Million. Her self titled album came in July 2001, it’s lead single We Need A Resolution garnered moderate success after it was released in April of that year. Due to scheduling conflicts, the dynamic trio of Aaliyah, Timbaland and Missy, were unable to put a lot of work in together for this project; but they managed to churn out the beloved mid-tempo I Care 4 U. She instead surrounded herself with the late singer/songwriter Static Major and Key Beats to help compose the majority of the album. The songstress stayed on the promo train but things were unfortunately cut short by her tragic passing in August.

Although this year will mark the 15th anniversary of her passing, what Aaliyah left behind in her short 22 years of living will be kept alive by fans, family and the artists that she was able to inspire.

Hopefully in years to come the masses will get a proper biopic that’ll show Wendy Williams and Co. how it should’ve been done in the first place. There has also been reemerging talks of a posthumous album featuring Timbaland and Missy Elliott, regardless of if it ever comes into fruition, one thing that’s for sure is that Aaliyah’s life and legacy will forever be celebrated and cherished.

Happy Birthday, Queen /.\ We love and miss you dearly. 

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