Aaliyah Dana Haughton (January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001), born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, who performed under the mononym Aaliyah, was an American recording artist and actress. Her first name means "highest, most exalted one" in Swahili. Introduced to audiences by R&B singer R. Kelly, Aaliyah became famous during the mid-1990s with several hit records from the songwriting-production team of Missy Elliott and Timbaland. She found success with her debut album 'Age Ain't Nothing But a Number', while introducing a "street but sweet" style which would become her trademark throughout her career followed by two more albums, 'One In a Million' and the eponymous 'Aaliyah'.
As the newcomer's first outing, the first single "Back and Forth" reached gold status. The song subsequently scored Aaliyah her first number one hit on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where it remained three weeks atop.
"We Need a Resolution", the first single from Aaliyah's third studio album, was released in April 2001. The eponymous 'Aaliyah' was released in July 2001. It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 187,000 copies in its first week. The album was a critical success, introducing a darker and edgier side to Aaliyah's music, and was noted as having showcased her growth as an artist. In the Summer 2001, Aaliyah filmed the video for Aaliyah's intended second single, "More Than a Woman".
In 1996, Aaliyah found a new hometeam which included rapper and producer Tim "Timbaland" Mosley and Missy Elliott. The upcoming producers contribute to Aaliyah's second studio album, One in a Million, which was released on August 27, 1996 internationally. Elliott and Mosley co-wrote and produced majority of the album which yielded her second number-one song on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, "If Your Girl Only Knew,". The single spent two weeks on top of the Billboard charts, and eventually garnered the pair a World Music Award for "World's Best Selling Female R&B Artist".
On August 25, 2001, at 6:45 PM (EST), Aaliyah and various members of her record company boarded a twin engine Cessna 402B (N8097W) at Marsh Harbour, Abaco Island, Bahamas to travel to Opa-locka Airport near Miami, Florida after they finished filming the music video to "Rock the Boat". The crew had a flight scheduled the next day, but since the video wrapped early, Aaliyah and her entourage were eager to return to the United States. Aaliyah's entourage was in a rush to get back to New York so they demanded that their heavy equipment from the shoot be on the plane rather than leave it behind which resulted in the aircraft being well beyond the standard weight and balance tolerance provided by Cessna.
The plane crashed shortly after takeoff about 200 feet (60 m) from the runway. Aaliyah, pilot Luis Morales III and the seven other passengers, including her hair stylist Eric Forman, Anthony Dodd, her security guard Scott Gallin, Douglas Kratz (a director of video production for Virgin Records), stylist Christopher Maldonado, Keith Wallace and Gina Smith (both employees of the Blackground label) died.
"Rock the Boat" went on to become a posthumous hit on radio (reaching number two on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles charts, number 14 on the Hot 100, and number 12 in the UK) and video channels, and the news of Aaliyah's death gave her album a notable sales boost, pushing it to number one on the Billboard 200. The album produced two other singles: "More than a Woman" reached number seven on Billboard's Hot R&B singles chart, number 25 on Hot 100, and number 1 in the UK, and at number 11 on BET's "Notarized" Top 100 videos of 2002. "I Care 4 U" reached number three on Billboard's Hot R&B singles chart and number sixteen on the Hot 100, the latter attaining success even without the promotional push of a music video. The Aaliyah album has gone on to sell over 12 million copies worldwide.
Aaliyah was voted one of "The Top 40 Women of the Video Era" in VH1's The Greatest, also ranked number 36 on their list of the 100 Sexiest Artists. Aaliyah also made E!'S list on the 101 Most Shocking Moments in Entertainment, Juiciest Hollywood Hookups, and Best Kept Hollywood Secrets. Aaliyah recently ranked at number 18 on BET's "Top 25 Dancers of All Time" and ranked at number four on BET's "Top 25 Sexiest Women of all Time". [wikipedia]