This week marks 14 years since Aaliyah Haughton’s untimely death at the mere age of 22. She released only three albums and though neither were considered instant successes on the commercial front, her music was – and always will be credited for redefining the sound of R&B.
She was only 15 years old when she debuted into the music industry. With R&B legend R.Kelly acting as her mentor at the time, Miss Haughton took the scene by storm with Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number. Her tomboy fashion sense caught the eyes of some but her silky vocals matched with the heavy hip hop sound caught the attention of many.
Later joining upcoming musical duo Missy Elliott and Timbaland, Aaliyah’s direction of music moved to a more seductive approach. Her sophomore album One In A Million is recognised as one of the most influential R&B albums by critics and fans who hail it as an album that solidified her position in R&B music. With her new found fame, she moved on to conquer other fields including acting with her first major role (Romeo Must Die) being a commercial success and fashion working with Tommy Hilfiger in the process.
Continuing to work with her collaborators and now-friends, her self-titled album Aaliyah was to be her last yet biggest commercial effort of her career. It was reported that she was planning to do a tour in support of the album but plans never developed as she unexpectedly died in a plane crash moments after shooting her final music video Rock The Boat in the Bahamas.
Aaliyah never got to experience the impact of her last album. She never got to celebrate More Than A Woman becoming her first UK number one single or the impact of Miss You but even today she still continues to influence a whole generation of R&B singers from Rihanna to Teyana Taylor to SZA.
Take a trip down memory lane and share your thoughts in the comments below.