Aaliyah Dana Haughton is born to Michael and Diane Haughton in Brooklyn. Aaliyah is raised in Detroit with her older brother Rashad and attends Gesu Elementary School where she is cast as a lead in the stage play Annie.
My mom was an educator and has a really good head on her shoulders. She keeps me well rounded as an individual as well, making sure I am exposed to a lot of things other kids my age aren’t.
Aaliyah is cast as an orphan in a school production of Annie. She holds a small part in the production:
I had one measly line, but I made that one line shine.
Aaliyah performs Gloria Estefan’s Anything For You in front of her family. Aaliyahs brother Rashad:
Her voice was very angelic.
At 10 years old, Aaliyah sings My Funny Valentine on Star Search. She loses to another child and finishes with a cumulative score of 3.25 out of 4. Aaliyah:
It was an incredible experience—me and [Ed] McMahon and just being on the Star Search stage because it was a show that I really looked up to.
Aaliyah releases Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number. The album is produced by R. Kelly, sells one million copies and jumps to platinum status.
After many dating rumors, Haughton and R. Kelly secretly get married at an undisclosed location. The pair become close after Kelly takes Haughton under his wing during her first album, Age Aint Nothing But A Number.
If I got tired we’d go watch a movie, go eat or whatever, and then come back and work. Me and him we’re really, we’re rather close.
Aaliyah and Kelly chat about how they met, clear up dating rumors, discuss schooling and success as a young artist.
We’re very close he is my best friend…… in the whole wide world.
Aaliyah tells the court that she lied about her age on the marriage certificate, claiming that she was 18. Her family is outraged when they learn about the marriage. Aaliyah and family members persuade a judge to immediately annul the marriage. Aaliyah and Kelly end all contact after the annulment.
Aaliyah chats about her new debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, her 4.0 GPA, enjoying the entertainment industry, the R. Kelly marriage rumors, and her close knit family:
My brother is in all the videos, I am very, very close with my family. My brother is like my best friend so he’s like in all the videos, he does a lot with me and we write a lot together. So maybe on the next album we can get a song on there.
Aaliyah chats about being 16, getting nervous on stage, R-Kelly marriage rumors, her favorite musicians and addresses a controversy with fellow R&B artist Brandy.
I caught wind of some of it but I don’t pay much attention to that I think there is room out here for all of us…..so good luck Brandy.
Aaliyah visits Amsterdam and performs her hit singles Age Ain’t Nothin But A Number and Back & Forth.
I always knew I wanted to sing when I was younger. I lot of people think being in this business that you’re going to be stuck up or snobby and that is not me at all.
Aaliyah sings the National Anthem at a Orlando Magic basketball game.
Aaliyah releases her sophomore album, One In A Million in the summer of 1996. Produced by Timbaland, the album portrays the singer as a suave and confident hip-hop swooner. The album sells over two million copies.
I was very involved. When I got with the producers, I told them I wanted an album with different moods, different flavors. I wanted to talk about relationships and have party songs.
If Your Girl Only Knew is the lead single released from Aaliyah’s sophomore album One in a Million directed by Joseph Kahn. Aaliyah:
I really like how my eyes change color during the video.
Hilfiger casts Aaliyah for his Tommy Jeans ad campaign. Hilfiger:
It created a whole new look. It was sexy but classic.
Aaliyah performs Live and Die with So So Def rappers Kris Kross, Da Brat and Jermaine Dupri for Hip Hop Video Soul.
I want to please my fans and I want y’all to enjoy the album….so check it out.
4 Page Letter, directed by Daniel Pearl, is released from Aaliyah’s second album, One In a Million. Pearl:
The release of this video was one of the first times we really got to see what a great dancer Aaliyah was.
Aaliyah visits Japan, meets Japanese fans, shops for souvenirs and rehearses in a dance studio.
I’ve learned a lot visiting different countries, learning about different cultures and that was the best part about the traveling.
Aaliyah is invited to perform for the annual Christmas in Washington at the National Building Museum. President Bill Clinton delights in the singer’s performance.
It was really great to perform for President Clinton because he really loves music and you can see the passion in his eyes as he’s watching you.
Aaliyah performs her hit single, If Your Girl Only Knew from her sophomore album, One In A Million, at the MTV Rock and Jock basketball game.
Aaliyah performs her hit songs Hot Like Fire, 4 Page Letter and One In A Million from her second album: One In A Million at the Summer Jam concert.
Aaliyah releases Are You That Somebody, a song for the movie, Dr. Doolittle. The track establishes Aaliyah and she quickly enters superstar status. The song goes to number one on the R&B charts and earns Aaliyah her first Grammy Award nomination. Static Major:
When I first presented the song to Aaliyah, she initially showed disdain for it. However, she eventually agreed to record it.
Aaliyah is invited to the Oscars and sings Journey to the Past, a song track for the animated movie, Anastasia. She is the youngest performer at the Oscars.
Aaliyah recounts her many accomplishments, her image, the meaning behind her name and her mysterious nature:
I am a very mysterious person and when you first meet me I don’t let you think where I am really coming from. It takes a while to get to know me, I think it’s because I take my time to get to know people. You’re going to get someone who is affable, who’s nice but you’re not going to get the whole picture of Aaliyah for a while.
Aaliyah, Timberlake and Lance Bass of N’Sync have fun at a TEEN People photo-shoot. Aaliyah:
Look what I have to deal with, the only mature under 21 person here.
Aaliyah makes her acting debut in the action film Romeo Must Die starring opposite martial arts star Jet Li. On how the film boosted her career:
Romeo Must Die came at the right time. It was the right vehicle for me.
Aaliyah speaks about her role on her debut movie Romeo Must Die, and her love for vampires.
I love vampires, I have to be a vampire.
Aaliyah is the executive producer of the Romeo Must Die soundtrack and sings the hit single, Try Again. The single helps her win a second Grammy nomination as well as two MTV Music Video Awards for Best Female Video and Best Video From a Film.
Try Again was a very upbeat song — very in your face.
Aaliyah wins the VMA’s award for Best Female Video and Best Video From a Film for her song, Try Again, from the Romeo Must Die soundtrack.
This is a shock … this is a big shock.
Aaliyah and Jeff Foxworthy play the game, Yambo on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn.
Aaliyah is a guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, where she speaks about her sex appeal and her role in Romeo Must Die.
I was hot at 10.
Aaliyah hosts the popular MTV show, TRL. She counts down the top 10 music videos, chats with phone guests and views fan made artwork.
We are having a good time up in here!
Aaliyah makes an appearance in her brother Rashad Haughton’s short film, The Mim Rose. Aaliyah as Melissa:
Does she love you or love you not?
Aaliyah describes her role as Trish on her debut movie, Romeo Must Die.
Trish doesn’t like to be controlled and that is one of the things I really like about her.
Aaliyah sits down with German talk show Select MTV to speak about her career and achievements.
God blessed me and I worked hard, and that is how it happened.
Come Back in One Piece is the lead single from the Romeo Must Die soundtrack, the video features rapper DMX and directed by Little X.
Aaliyah chats about Romeo Must Die, her love for acting, growing up, animated movie Anastasia, her excitement on being in the Oscars, love of horror and vampire movies.
Growing up for me, everything was based on entertainment. I come from a family that’s always been involved in this business and I went to Catholic school, went to performing arts high school where I majored in dance, took drama and music. I was always grounded my parents made sure I had everything that a child has….I went to parties, I went to my prom, I did all those sort of things.
Aaliyah chats about acting, waiting on the right acting role, the cast of Romeo Must Die, having fun outside of working, dating, doing a future duet with Janet Jackson, working with producer Timbaland and what she is most proud of:
What feels the best is when I receive that plaque knowing that my fans went and picked up the album and they are the reason why I am sitting on this couch and I am doing what I am doing. I have no regrets, I’ve lived a full life at 21, I’ve done a lot in just 21 years…I am very happy.
Aaliyah performs her hit single, Try Again from the Romeo Must Die soundtrack.
Aaliyah introduces and honors some of the hottest movers and dancers at the Janet Jackson MTV Icons Award Show.
My personal favorite Janet video is Alright which features Cab Calloway and has this really cool, retro vibe and amazing dance moves.
Aaliyah plays evil queen vampire Akasha in this horror directed by Michael Rymer. Akasha is awakened by Lestsat (Stuart Townsend) when he becomes a rock star.
It’s fun to be that mean, evil person. I myself have always loved the dark side as well.
Aaliyah describes the makeup process and shares bloopers of her role as Akasha on Queen of the Damned.
I have been bitten.
Aaliyah begins dating entrepreneur, Damon Dash. The pair meet through Dash’s accountant. Their relationship is filled with individual work projects and they spend months at a time away from each other. Dash:
She was intelligent and she caught me. I’m the kind of guy who says things sometimes just to make myself laugh, but she would just catch me making jokes for me. I couldn’t get anything past her. She had a very quick mind and a very kind heart.
We Need a Resolution, directed by Paul Hunter is released as the lead single from Aaliyah’s third self titled album Aaliyah.
I first dealt with snakes when I was in Australia and I did the photo shoot for the album. We used five pythons in the shoot. At first, I was a little nervous, but once I started to handle them, I totally fell in love and felt an affinity toward them.
Aaliyah displays her daily routine while she is on tour in Paris and New York City. She prepares for interviews and has fun at a carnival. Aaliyah:
I want to please my fans because it’s all about them. In the end it is all worth it because it really makes me happy and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the World.
Aaliyah links up with A-list producers to create a futuristic style album. The self-titled Aaliyah is her third album and reaches number 2 on the Billboard album chart. Aaliyah:
The songs on this album talks about relationships in every aspect.
Aaliyah talks about her third album, Aaliyah, her upcoming movie role on Queen of the Damned and speaks to phone guests. Aaliyah:
I like to have fun and be silly.
In her last interview, with a German magazine, Aaliyah says she has recurring dreams that she is flying away from her problems.
It is dark in my favorite dream. Someone is following me. I don’t know why. I’m scared, then, suddenly, I lift off. Far away. How do I feel? As if I am swimming in the air. Free. Nobody can reach me. Nobody can touch me. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Aaliyah sings her hit song, More Than a Woman on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. This is her last performance from her third album, Aaliyah. Jay Leno:
The Aaliyah album has gotten terrific reviews.
Aaliyah shares access to the making of her video, Rock the Boat, directed by Hype Williams.
We’ve been up since three a.m. doing hair and makeup to get the beautiful sunrise shot. Sometimes that’s what you got to do, it will be painful but it’s all for the good of the video.