Aaliyah Dana Houghton was born in Brooklyn, New York on January 16, 1979.
She was raised in Detroit, Michigan by her father and mother. She made her first major debut on the television show Star Searchin 1983. Although she didn't win the season, she awed the audience with her amazing voice and talent.
In the same year, she performed live with R&B legend Gladys Knight in Las Vegas. In 1983, Aaliyah was only 11 and had already achieved a lot in her music career.

Aaliyah extracted herself from the celebrity scence for awhile and attended Detroit's Performing Arts High School where she majored in dance. When she was 15, she met singer/composer R.Kelly who helped produce her debut album Age Ain't Nuthin But a Number(1994). The album sold millions of copies and held several hits, the most popular being "Back and Forth" and "At Your Best (You Are Love)". The album's title was in reference to Aaliyah and R.Kelly's marriage (which Aaliyah denied), that was later annulled due to her status as a minor. Aaliyah was only 15 while R.Kelly was 27. The album was dubbed platinum and Aaliyah was quickly skyrocketing to fame.


During her senior year in high school, Aaliyah released her second album One In A Million (1998).
This album featured the famous songwriting talents of Missy Elliott, Jermaine Dupri and Tim Mosley (Timbaland). The album was hugely popular and sold 2 million copies.This album portrayed the then 17-year-old singer as a sexy and sassy hip-hop character and depicted her as having self-confidence beyond her years. She then made the soundtrack Are You That Somebody? for the the movie Dr.Dolittle(1998) which led her to her first grammy nomination. She was soon discovered by the film producer Joel Silverand he asked her to audition for a role in a movie he was producing entitled Romeo Must Die(2000). She got the part and this was her first major film role. The hit song "Try Again" from this movie's soundtrack landed her her second grammy nomination and won her two MTV Music Video Awards including Best Female Video and Best Video for a Film. This film led to her being cast as one of the stars of the films Queen of the Damned(2002) and The Matrix Reloaded(2003). Not only was Aaliyah's singing career on the rise, but her superb acting skills was gaining her even more credit and fame.

Even though Aaliyah had a busy schedule, she released her third album self-entitled. "Aaliyah" album. It debuted at number two on the Billboard charts. In August 2001, Aaliyah went to the Bahamas to film a video for the song "Rock The Boat". The video was filmed on Abaco Island and was directed by the major music video producer Hype Williams. After filming the video, Aaliyah and her video crew took off in a small plane headed to Miami, Florida. A few minutes after take-off, the plane crashed and killed Aaliyah and many others instantly. Aaliyah was only 22 years old. Although Aaliyah's life was cut short, her brillant career was a true success story of a young African-American woman who went against all odds and was successful in the music industry. She is truly an inspiration for young females everywhere and will be missed by her family, friends and fans.

- Usually covered her left eye with her hair.
- Often wore sunglasses in front of the covered left eye.
- Usually wore black leather, or white clothing in her music videos.
- Had on black nail polish in nearly all of her music videos.

Fun Facts
- Auditioned for a role on Family Matters.
- She had thee tattoos: her initial and a star on her hand, a music symbol on her ankle and a dove on her lower back.
- Graduated from the Detroit High School of the Performing Arts with a 4.0 GPA.
- At the time of her death, Aaliyah and her boyfriend, Damon Dash, had plans to get married.
- She was close friends with Nicole Richie.

- Was originally supposed to play the character "Honey" in the movie Honey (2003) but died before production began.
Works Cited
1. "Biography for Aaliyah", imdb.com, A&E Television Networks, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004691/bio, 3/1/2010
2. "Aaliyah Biography in full Aaliyah Haughton", biography.com, A&E Television Netwrosk, http://www.biography.com/articles/Aaliyah-9542434, 3/1/2010