Remembering Aaliyah’s triumphs before his tragic end

AaliyahThe story had just begun before it was out of his hands.

The story did not end, because here we are 19 years after his shocking death in a plane crash at the age of 22, still talking about it, still marking what his birthday would have been, still appreciating what he contributed in his short time in the planet.

“Sometimes, when only my mother and I kicked her, I say: ‘I am 22 years old and have achieved a lot,'” he told E! News in 2001, months before his death. “I just know that I have to appreciate every moment.”

But, as has often been the case when the story of a famous woman is linked to an infamous scandal, her achievements can be overshadowed by the most exciting details and surroundings. Billboard Record records, star in movies and make a musical impression enough for artists to continue testing and making comparisons with Aaliyah to this day, it just does not make the heart accelerate so much.

It is not that the scandalous part of Aaliyah Dana Haughton’s story should be ignored.

R. Kelly She was accused in December of bribing a government employee, a federal crime, to obtain the false identification that claimed that Aaliyah was 18 years old instead of the 15 she really was when she married Kelly, 27, at a hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, August 31, 1994.

The union was annulled in February 1995 at the request of their parents. Kelly said he “had no idea” that he was so young at the time, said his lawyer Steven Greenberg in Good morning america in 2019

When the bribery charge was filed as part of a larger organized crime case, the dishonest R&B singer was already facing multiple charges in multiple jurisdictions of sexual exploitation and abuse, the criminal charges seen by many as an irretrievably overdue revenge for a rich and famous man who, four years before winning three Grammy awards for “I think I can fly” married to 15 year old girl after producing his debut album and since then he had been repeatedly linked to underage girls.

Kelly pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The questionable pedigree aside, Aaliyah’s first studio album in 1994, Age is just a number, It has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide and was certified double platinum, driven by the 10 best singles “Back & Forth” and “At Your Best (You Are Love)”.

The teenager born in Brooklyn and raised in Detroit was already a veteran of the entertainment world, singing at weddings at 8, performing at Search for stars beside Gladys knight—Who was briefly married to Aaliyah’s uncle, record producer Barry Hankerson, in the 1970s, at 10 and going on stage in Las Vegas at 11.

“I am still in high school,” Aaliyah said shyly, beaming about his recent report card, in an interview at the New York morning show to promote his first performance at the legendary Apollo Theater.

She wanted to go to college to specialize in music history and minor in engineering, she said, “but I do whatever it takes to stay in this business for as long as possible, because I love it.” She described her brother, Rashad, as her “best friend” and frequent writing companion.

The title of your LP, Age is just a numberIt was his favorite song on the album and was derived from the fact that he did not share his age (or youth), although everyone knew he was too young to play the Budweiser Superfest, because beer. (He finally performed at the festival in 1997).

By then, the “rumor” of marriage had raised its head, but Aaliyah smiled and shrugged. “I just ignored it,” continued the singer, who along with Kelly had denied that the marriage had occurred. “When you’re in this business, it comes with the territory that people are going to talk about, and you really can’t control what people are going to say. So I really ignored it, you know, and I let that go through my back.”

One of the least disgusting things about R. Kelly’s success was not noticeably affected by the unearthing, by Environment, in 1995, of the 1994 marriage certificate that falsely enumerated Aaliyah’s 18-year-old age, is that Aaliyah’s promising career was also not derailed. His star just kept rising.

She wanted her second album to be “on the same wavelength as the first album”, so it had been announced as a promising new talent, but she planned to add more of her own flavor.

Inclination The magazine, for example, said that its version of “At Your Best (You Are Love”) by Isley Brothers “exhibited a moderate voice and ear for harmony well beyond its years.”

After the marriage scandal broke out in 1995, Aaliyah distanced himself from Kelly, leaving Jive Records for Atlantic Records and connecting with the producers. Timbaland Y Missy Elliott in the study. The result was his second album of 1996, One in a million, which has sold 8 million copies and was named one of the “essential recordings of the 90s” by Rolling Stone.

And all the time, Aaliyah remained on the mysterious side, a tactic that was easier to achieve then, because God knows that his fans would. demand She will be on social media today, often wearing sunglasses in interviews and making sure not to reveal too many personal details. (A controversial 2014 lifelong biopic that almost starred Zendaya He tried to fill some of the gaps and was widely criticized for his efforts.)

But Aaliyah continued to have the brightest smile.

KMazur / WireImage

“I dress in my baggy clothes every day and I am a relaxed person, which is what I portrait before the camera,” he told MTV News in June 1994. “I am relaxed, I am calm, more or less jazzy – I like the jazzy music. It really isn’t a big difference [between her personality and her musical persona] that’s probably why it’s so easy, because it really is the way I am. “

“Be yourself,” he agreed. “That’s the best way to go, really.”

It was in the character, then, not rushing the No. 3 album simply to ride a wave of emotion. Instead, he took a moment to graduate from high school in 1997 (keeping that 4.0), made his acting debut in the Fox police drama. New York undercover, became a face of Tommy Hilfiger, made the nominated “Journey to the past” of Anastasia at the 1998 Oscars, and in 1999 he earned his first Grammy nomination, Best Female Vocal Performance of R&B, for “Are You That Somebody?” from the Dr. Dolittle soundtrack.

Warner Bros / Kobal / Shutterstock

He then went to his first film, the 2000 revenge thriller adjacent to Shakespeare Romeo must die, an unexpected success that earned $ 91 million at the global box office.

the New York Times called “natural” Aaliyah, it doesn’t matter that she and her co-star Jet li He exhibited no credible chemistry.

Romeo must die He also gave birth to what became his first number one hit and Aaliyah’s best-known song, “Try Again.” He received another Grammy nomination for Best Female Vocal Performance of R&B and won two MTV Video Music Awards, for Best Female Video and Best Video of a Movie.

“Try Again” can also be found on Aaliyah’s third self-titled album, which he recorded primarily in 2000 in Australia, where, thanks to his impressive film debut, he was the titular queen in the grand-adaptation of the screen of the Ann Rice novel Queen of the Damned, following the steps of not less than Tom cruise Y Brad Pitt like a star from his own vehicle “Vampire Chronicles.” (Stuart Townsend assumed control of Cruise as Lestat.)

Remi Agency / ZUMAPRESS.com

Aaliyah It fell on July 7, 2001, which the artists proudly felt as a more mature neo-soul sound than the albums he had published as a teenager. He sold 187,000 copies in his first week, Aaliyah’s biggest week in his career, but then sales began to decline.

Less than two months later, Aaliyah was dead.

He had been in the Bahamas filming scenes for his music video for “Rock the Boat” when, on the night of August 25, 2001, he cautiously boarded a twin-engine Cessna 402-B to fly to Florida from the Abaco Islands. Marsh Harbor airport.

“Until the last BlackBerry [exchange] that we had, before she went there, she said, ‘I don’t like that plane,’ “he recalled the day Damon Dash, who was dating her at the time and then said he planned to marry her. The real in 2016. “And I thought, ‘Don’t mess with it. And she was like,’ I have to do it. ‘You know, it was a complicated situation but she had to go make that video.”

The plane, which investigators would determine was carrying up to 700 pounds more than it should have been, crashed and burned a few hundred feet from the runway after takeoff.

Aaliyah

Get out Idriss / Redferns

Eight other people were also killed, including the pilot, Luis Morales III; makeup artist Eric Forman; Anthony Dodd; security guard Scott Gallin; Douglas Kratz, director of video production for Virgin Records; stylist Christopher Maldonado; and Blackground Records executives, Keith Wallace and Gina Smith. An autopsy found that Morales had traces of cocaine and alcohol in his system.

Aaliyah’s parents then settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the companies involved in the operation of the plane for an undisclosed sum.

“We have been friends since ’96”, singer Monica saying Rolling Stone that night after the fatal accident in what turned out to be a grim Powerhouse festival in Anaheim, California. “He was an easy person to like. I want his family to know that we are here for her as artists, but this is bigger than the music industry. He was very talented, but more than that, he was a good person.”

Ludacris He was acting when he was informed on stage about what happened, and he gave the news to the audience.

“It is insensitive” You’re the boss saying Rolling Stone. “I received the news before continuing and I didn’t want to believe it, but I suppose if you say so, it must be true. However, it was definitely in the back of my mind when I was out there. I loved the girl. She was a sweet person.”

Aaliyah, which debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 before sales declined, rose again to number 1, a 595 percent jump in sales.

“She was a very happy person” Hype Williams, Director of the video “Rock the Boat,” he told MTV News a few days after the accident. “He had nothing but love to give to others and selflessly shared much of who he was. I don’t know if anyone really understands that about her. He had these amazing and elegant qualities as a person. I don’t know if his fans know that about her.”

Poor me, Queen of the DamnedWhen it was released in February 2002, he was sentenced upon arrival, since the studio was not sure how to exaggerate a bloody horror and fantasy film about the joys and dangers of immortality, whose greatest attraction became its protagonist tragically deceased “Due to the tragic aspects of his death, most of the audience’s interest will be in Aaliyah, but his largely non-speaking part is more a modeling task than a real performance,” he said. Los Angeles Times. Aaliyah was “the true victim of this grim disaster,” wrote the New York Times, which gave another thanks to all the promise he showed in Romeo must die.

But that was just his second movie, after all, and there were supposed to be many more opportunities to show what he could do on the screen.

On August 25, 2002, exactly one year after the accident, Jay Z He was performing at the DTE Energy Music Theater in Detroit when he stopped the music shortly after 10 p.m.

The lights went out and the lighters came out when “Try Again” rang through the speakers. He joined his co-founder of Roc-a-Fella, Dash, at the back of the stage for the moment of homage.

“We love you,” said Jay-Z. “We miss you all.”

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