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Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born January 16, 1979 in Brooklyn, New York. At age five, her family transported from Brooklyn and settled in Detroit, Michigan, where Aaliyah spent most of her young and teenage years.
Growing up, Miss Haughton did a lot of singing, thanks in part to her parents who introduce the young singer to the many different styles of music. However, she did not realize her full potential until the age of six years old, when she auditioned for a role in her elementary school play of "Annie". Although Aaliyah only played a small role (she was a young orphan) this event did spark her interest in becoming a singer and set her on her road to stardom.
This road was tough, and like many other young artist starting out, Aaliyah had to first pay her dues. She began auditioning and performing all over Detroit, hoping that someone would sign her and give her her first break. At age ten, she got that break when she hit the famous "Star Search" stage performing her own rendition of Chaka Khan's "My Funny Valentine." Although Aaliyah did not win the competition, she would look back and remember it as a real learning experience. Her next big show was at the age of 11, when young Aaliyah got an opportunity to sing with Gladys Knight's troupe on a Las Vegas stage, an experience that Aaliyah will always remember.
Aaliyah's introduction to producer/singer R. Kelly marked a major turning point in her career (R. Kelly was introduced to Aaliyah b her uncle, Barry Hankerson, who was also R. Kelly's manager at the time). From there, R. Kelly helped Aaliyah craft an impressive debut album, "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number." An album that would transpose the young unknown from Detroit to an international star. Age, which yield two gold singles and a platinum album, set record labels scrambling to find their versions of young, talented singers who could captivated audiences, in other words, another Aaliyah.
Like any other superstar, Aaliyah was not immune to the backlashes of the press and the haters out there in the world. Rumors began springing up of an alleged relationship and marriage between R. Kelly and the young singer. Although Aaliyah denied it countless times, people are usually hard of hearing when it comes to the truth. So, listen up people. The truth of the matter is that they were NEVER married and Aaliyah is NOT pregnant nor has she ever been pregnant.
Three quite years passed, with many wondering when the next Aaliyah project would drop. Teasing the audience with numerous guest appearances and songs off soundtracks, the world was more than ready for the return of the highest most exalted one.
In 1997, Aaliyah finally emerged through and came out strong with the impressive and critically acclaimed album, "One In a Million." This album, which was a result of countless studio hours and numerous producers such as Timbaland, Missy Elliot, Kay-Gee and Jermaine Dupri, showed Aaliyah's growth and maturity, this time around. "One In a Million", went double platinum silencing all her critics as well as questions as to whether or not she was just a one hit wonder. The first single off the album, "If Your Girl Only Knew", went straight to #1 on the Billboard Top R&B charts as well as hitting Top Ten on the Billboard 100 Chart.
Since then Aaliyah has been knocking down achievements left and right. Her song on the Anastasia soundtrack led to an Oscar nomination as well as an opportunity to perform the song on Oscar night. "Are You That Somebody" became the surprise summer hit of 1998. 1999 marked the year Aaliyah made her successful debut movie, "Romeo Must Die", alongside international superstar Jet Li. And her hit song "Try Again" off the "Romeo Must Die" soundtrack, became the first song to hit #1 on the Billboard 100 Singles Chart based on Airplay alone. No small job for just an ordinary girl.
Then again, Aaliyah has never been just an ordinary girl and the world has finally realize the star that she really is.