Aaliyah D. Haughton was born January 16, 1979 in Brooklyn, NY. Aaliyah which stands for "highest, most exalted one" in Swahili, moved to Detroit when she was 5 years old. She started at church, school plays, and got much practice when her parents gave her vocal lessons at home. By the time Aaliyah was nine years old, she was already performing professionally. She got her big start when she was 11 when she performed with Gladys Knight in L.A.
Aaliyah's uncle, Barry Hankerson, introduced her to R.Kelly and she sang for him. Then they went to the studio and started working together and signed her a deal with Jive/ Blackground Enterprises (Barry's label). Her first album was released when she was only 15 was a great success, hits like "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number", "Back And Forth", and "Down With The Clique", carried the album easily to a platinum record. After they worked together, rumors started to fly about how Aaliyah and R.Kelly were married. They were just that, rumors.
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. The album went Double Platinum. Producers were Timbaland and Barry Hankerston.
Her first two albums have sold more than 3 million copies. Then came Aaliyah made it bigtime in the blockbuster action movie "Romeo Must Die." The 2000 action film where she stared with Jet Li.
Aaliyah again pressured herself while recording her third selftiteled album "Aaliyah" and filming Anne Rice's "Queen of the Damned" in Australia at the same time. On Aaliyah, she once again teamed with Timbaland -- who was responsible for her chart-topping "Try Again" -- as well as a host of up-and-coming producers and songwriters.
On august 25 Aaliyah was among nine people killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas. The plane crashed and burst into flames shortly after taking off from the island of Abaco bound for Miami. Aaliyah who was set to appear in the forthcoming sequel to "The Matrix," was on the island to film a new video.