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17 Reasons Why Aaliyah Is One Of The Most Influential Women In Pop Culture  was originally published on

1. Introducing … Aaliyah Dana Haughton

At the age of 10, Aaliyah appeared on ‘Star Search’ where she performed “My Funny Valentine” in the junior vocalist division. Aaliyah charmed the audience with her impressive vocals and adorable appearance but ultimately lost to another contestant. Little did the world know, she was about to become a superstar! Shortly after her appearance, she performed in concert alongside her aunt (through marriage) Gladys Knight.

2. A Match Made In Heaven

After ending her contract with Jive in 1996, Aaliyah ventured to Atlantic Records where she hooked up with producer Timbaland and Missy Elliott — a match made in heaven. Her second album, ‘One In A Million,’ showcased a sexier side of Aaliyah with innovative beats to match. The release was praised as smooth and seductive and went on to sell over 2 million copies in the United States plus 10 million copies worldwide.

3. Visions Of Grammy Gold

On June 16, 1998, Aaliyah released “Are You That Somebody” — produced by Timbaland and written by the late Static Major — a hit that famously samples the sound of a baby cooing in the background. The song appeared on the ‘Doctor Doolittle’ movie soundtrack and earned Aaliyah a Grammy nom for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The music video sparked trendsetting fashion and choreography.

4. From Tomboy To Sex Symbol

In April of 2001, Aaliyah released the lead single “We Need A Resolution” from her third album ‘Aaliyah.’ Up until that point in her career, Aaliyah had embodied a Tomboy swag, donning overalls and baggy jeans. The visuals for “We Need A Resolution” portrayed Aaliyah in a seductive light as she shined in sheer dresses, form-fitting jeans with bra tops, and snakes slithering over her body. She became a sex symbol.

5. Her Last Video

Aaliyah flew to the Bahamas to film the visuals for her song “Rock The Boat.” After wrapping, she and her entourage set out to return to the U.S. They never made it. Shortly after taking off, their plane crashed about 200 feet from the runway. Aaliyah’s funeral was held on August 31, 2001. Her body was set in a silver-plated, copper-deposit casket. Twenty-two white doves were released to symbolize her life.

6. Posthumous Success

Sales for Aaliyah’s third album sky-rocketed after her death, sending ‘Aaliyah’ to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts. The airing of ‘BET’s Access Granted,’ that had filmed while she was shooting “Rock The Boat” in the Bahamas, became the most-viewed and highest-rated episode in the history of the show. Her posthumous singles “More Than A Woman” and “I Care 4 U” landed in the top 25 of the Billboard Hot 100.

7. Aaliyah … The Movie

In July 2014, Lifetime announced the ‘Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B’ TV biopic. Alexandra Shipp was cast to play Aaliyah in the movie that will premiere on Lifetime November 15th at 8/7c. The two-hour movie, executive produced by Howard Braunstein, Debra Martin Chase, and Wendy Williams, is based on the bestseller ‘Aaliyah: More Than a Woman’ by former Time Magazine music editor Christopher John Farley.