Remembering Aaliyah: Happy 30th Birthday Babygirl!

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 9:33 AM

If she were still here, Aaliyah would have been celebrating her 30th birthday today. Talented in music and style, Aaliyah Dana Haughton left the earth much too soon with loads of potential unrealized. During her short career of just 7 years, Aaliyah released 3 albums and starred in two major motion pictures. And then, all of a sudden she was taken away...

Her debut, Age Ain't Nothin' But A Number was released in 1994 and helmed by R&B superstar R. Kelly, who served as executive producer of the album. With this release, Aaliyah upped the swag in the urban R&B female arena with her baggy clothes, and tomboyish-yet-sexy appeal. Back and Forth was the lead single, followed up by her classic cover of the Isley Brothers smash At Your Best (You Are Love). The title track was also released as a single and has become a pop culture reference still widely used today.

Aaliyah went on to defy the sophomore jinx with One In A Million, an album that saw both an increase in sales and an increase in her popularity. It was at this time that her partnership with mega-hitmakers Timbaland and Missy Elliott blossomed. In the videos for this album, Aaliyah embraced more of her femininity, making her sexuality more appealing and still classy. This project saw the release of 6 singles: If Your Girl Only Knew, One In A Million (with a cameo from Ginuwine in the accompanying video clip), a cover of Marvin Gaye's classic Got To Give It Up, the ever-popular 4-Page Letter, Hot Like Fire, and the power ballad The One I Gave My Heart To.

Her third and final release was a self-titled album, Aaliyah, and is hailed by many as the definitive work of her career. This project was more personal and more confident in nature with classics like We Need A Resolution, More Than A Woman, Rock The Boat and I Care 4 U. Though this album showcased a slightly darker disposition, it ushered Aaliyah into womanhood with messages against domestic violence, relationship tension, and anthems of female empowerment. The re-release included I Miss U, which ironically became the song of tribute to the fallen angel and was accompanied by a star-studded video clip in which Aaliyah's friends and colleagues showed their support for Aaliyah, her family and her fans.

Let's not forget some of the other major singles of her career, including the Academy Award nominated (and one of my personal favorites) Journey To The Past from the Anastasia Soundtrack, Try Again from Romeo Must Die, and Are You That Somebody from the soundtrack to Dr. Doolittle. Since her passing, there have been many artists who have mimicked her style, her voice but none can duplicate her presence, for she was truly one in a million. Today, Sound-Savvy wishes Aaliyah a Happy 30th Birthday and we remember the legacy of an angel.

2 comments and counting...

  1. Definitely one of my faves! Taken too soon.....

    Posted on January 16, 2009 at 11:36 AM

  2. Definitely a good look on this post. She paved the way for MANY MANY female artists out today.

    Posted on January 19, 2009 at 2:14 PM


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