Aaliyah (born Aaliyah Dana Haughton on January 16, 1979 in New York City, USA), nicknamed 'Baby Girl', 'Princess of R&B' and 'Queen of Urban Pop', was an American R&B singer and upcoming actress on the verge of superstardom when she was tragically killed on August 25, 2001 in the Bahamas from a plane crash; after she finished shooting the music video for Rock The Boat that later became a featured single on her 2001 self-titled album, Aaliyah.
In 1996, she released her second studio album titled, One In A Million, and by the end of the '90s, she was working in movies as an actress and composer.
She co-starred with Jet Li in Romeo Must Die that was released in theaters in 2000 which featured her song, Try Again and due to success from the movie, it was a hit single, becoming her first #1 to appear on the pop charts.
Her third (and final) self-titled studio album came out on July 7, 2001 and ended up peaking at #2 on the Billboard 200 and was released during a period of peak activity in contemporary R&B and, since its initial reception, has been cited by critics as one of the best R&B records of its time.
During her last years, Aaliyah had agreed to appear in film projects such as Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned which became her last movie to be completely filmed before her passing. Aaliyah was scheduled to star in The Matrix sequels (both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions), casted as the character Zee. A few scenes were filmed with her in it for Reloaded but were never fully released.
Aaliyah became a force in the music industry as she was acknowledged for influencing a new generation in popularising a mix of contemporary R&B, pop and hip-hop with her sound and music direction during the late 90's to early 00's, as well as for her innovative 'tomboyish yet a bit girly' style choices and her down-to-earth, humbled approach of living in the public eye.
She had a tribute send off dedicated to her with the release of the song Miss You on November 12, 2002 (she had originally recorded the song in 1999 and had remained unreleased till then). The music video for the song, directed by Darren Grant, featured tributes by some of Aaliyah's friends and collaborators which included DMX, Missy Elliott, and Static Major. It received a nomination for Best R&B Video at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. Rapper Jay-Z made a tribute to Aaliyah using the instrumental and chorus for its official Miss You [Remix] version in Summer 2003.
Aaliyah's legacy has helped pave the way for future artists such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Ciara and Drake to keep making music inspired by soul and influence within pop, R&B, hip-hop and urban music genres.
Aaliyah's final album eventually got a revamp/re-release, titled Aaliyah [Remastered Edition] that came out in 2004, exclusive to Germany which included bonus tracks that weren't included in the album's original release.