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5 times Aaliyah proved herself as ‘One in a Million’



Aaliyah, One in a Million

Aaliyah Dana Haughton, was an African American singer, actress, dancer, and model. She has been credited for helping to redefine contemporary pop, hip hop, and R&B, music as well as a muse for fashion designers like Tommy Hilfiger and others. The projected release of  Aaliyah’s musical catalog has sparked conversations about the late artist thrusting her once again into pop culture conversations. This is a list of 5 times Aaliyah proved herself as One in a Million.

1.Her name

While Aaliyah is not an uncommon or unique name globally,but it certainly was both uncommon and unique in America. Aaliyah means “the highest among women” in Arabic. While many middle eastern and Muslim women have this name it was hardly pronounced correctly by those that interviewed Aaliyah due to unfamiliarity with the name. Aaliyah was known for regularly teaching people how to pronounce her name prior to and during interviews. Thanks to the singer the name has gained proven popularity as a more common baby girl name in America. According to Social Security Administration data, Aaliyah has been consistently popular, breaking into the top 100 in 2001. This is a direct effect of the singer’s influence upon her fan base.

2. Her voice

In the early 90’s Black female singers were only appreciated if they had the vocal range and maturity of The Clark Sisters. If you did not have a big voice for belting ballads, you were dismissed as being unable to sing of condescendingly told, “she can hold a note”. During her lifetime, Aaliyah was lambasted with criticism by people saying she could not sing and owed her voice to studio magic. Aaliyah put these rumors to rest with the music video version of How Could the One I gave My Heart to. Ballads never became her style. She merely proved she had the vocal range and went back to being a soft voice on hard beats. This paved the way for singers like mya and other pop artists with softer sounds to be respected as vocalists rather than pretty girls with no talent given deals for how their sexual appeal.

3. Her fashion

From the ’90s until today women and girls are using Aaliyah as fashion inspiration.  designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Roberto Cavalli benefit even today from Aaliyah having worn their fashions in iconic photoshoots and commercials. Aaliyah was effortlessly put together. The pretty girl next door that was down to earth as evidenced by her slight tomboyish nature, describes the way Aaliyah was most commonly styled. No holding spray or hair gel necessary, Aaliyah had a breezy style that flowed from her hair down to her baggy jeans. The contrast of crop tops and roomy jeans made for a combination of sultry seduction yet tomboyish temptation still sets the tone for inner-city street fashion today

4. Her choreography

There was something jazzy and smooth in the way Aaliyah moved. Aaliyah came from a hip-hop generation of people who danced big and hard. Think fly girls, Another Bad Creation, and other girl/boy groups of the time. No one got on soul train with tamed movements. Hip Hop dances like the running man, the roger rabbit, the wop – they were big and energetic. Aaliyah seemed to be able to dance without breaking a sweat or moving a hair out of place. Her movements were liquidy smooth yet obviously complex. She popularized what she referred to as a” belly roll” that would give way to the eastern influence of Bellydance moves in hip hop culture. It began with Aaliyah.

5. Her Beauty

Janet Jackson once said that in all her life she never met a woman as naturally beautiful and becoming as Aaliyah. That while she had become accustomed to people looking one way on TV and another way in person, she said Aaliyah was even more stunning in person. From her almond-shaped chestnut-colored eyes (also referred to as Dark hazel) to her large white teeth, full lips, clear skin, and dimples, Aaliyah had an electrifying smile. Aaliyah charmed and disarmed us with her inner and outer beauty. The singer who notably had such a fear of flying would meet her end after being carried aboard an overloaded aircraft while asleep. She was allegedly given sleeping pills to calm her anxiety. The thin 5′ 7″ superstar was then carried unconscious onto an aircraft. She never woke up. Her plane crashed on August 25, 2001 Marsh Harbor, The Bahamas.

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