Hard to believe that today marks the 12th anniversary of the untimely passing of R&B starlet Aaliyah.
Introduced as R&B ringleader R. Kelly‘s protege at the young age of 14, the Detroit native precedented an R&B teen movement, leading the way for fellow female divas-in-training Brandy and Monica to share chart success. By the time she reached sweet 17, the ‘Hot Like Fire’ hitmaker’s rise to prominence was imminent as she turned up the heat in her videos and on the charts. With then-little-known super-producer team Timbaland and Missy Elliott at the helm lacing the accompaniment for her angelic falsetto, Aaliyah found herself in a league of her own with substance, sass, and style.
Fast forward to 2001 (after a 5 year absence from album charts), the songstress was returning with her self-titled third album. To promote the July 2001 due album, Haughton hit the ground running in a progressive promo campaign including a stop on the then-popular MTV documentary series ‘MTV Diary’. Showcasing its release, promotional tour, and, of course, downtime in between, the outing gave a glimpse into an otherwise fairly private star. Gone were the shades, baggy jeans, and laidback demeanor. Replaced with a grown and sexy Aaliyah, fans were being introduced to the beginning of what was hoped to be her true rise to prominence.
Unfortunately, that beginning was struck tragically short upon the singer’s death on August 25th, 2001. But, as this very article attests, her legacy is all but forgotten and continues to inspire those left to follow her Urban Pop trail. There will never be another, for, she was truly ‘one in a million’.