Happy Birthday, Babygirl


Aaliyah Dana Haughton would have turned 29 years old today were it not for her untimely death in 2001. Although her life and career were cut short, her legacy lives on and her influence can be seen in numerous artists over the years. But despite the copycats and swagger jackers, she truly was one in a million. Join us today as your SoulBounce Editors remember and celebrate Babygirl on her special day.

Butta says:

There was something about Aaliyah that I was drawn to from the moment
she first hit the scene with "Back and Forth." With all that R. Kelly
controversy, she was clearly no angel, but she always carried herself
like a young lady and was well spoken and poised whenever she did
interviews. A lot of today's artists could take a page out her book in that regard. (Since they steal all her other stuff, why not that, too?)

I saw her in concert in the late '90s at one of the last Budweiser Superfests and sadly I can't remember her live show. At the time she was the opening-opening-opening-opening act, and if I knew then that that would've been my first and last time seeing her perform, I would've cherished the moment more.

If she would have lived to see 29, I wonder where her career would have gone. She was on the brink of becoming a mainstream star by continuing to cross over into film and Aaliyah was her career best at the time of her passing. She was definitely a talent cut short in her prime.

Favorite cuts: "One In a Million," "Rock the Boat," "Try Again," "Age Aint Nothin' But A Number"

Harlem says:

I'll never forget, it was on a Saturday night when I first heard the news that Aaliyah had died in that horrible plane crash. I wrote a tribute almost immediately, stating that the beat to "Back and Forth" was one that always got me hype--especially when R-uh would lead off with "Let me see you go back ..."

However, the image of Aaliyah that stays with me to this day is of her floating underwater at the end of the "Rock the Boat" video. She glowed as she swam around that pool. She finally looked at peace in her own skin. Finally a confident young woman who no longer felt the need to wear her hair as a disguise. It was in those few seconds, during that final video shoot, that I saw Ms. Haughton as "more than a woman". And while it's true that she was no angel, at that moment, she surely looked angelic.

Happy Birthday, Babygirl.

Favorite cuts: "Back and Forth,"  "Come Over," "Rock the Boat," "Are U That Somebody"

ill Mami says:

I remember talking with my girls one day, all of whom were several years Aaliyah's senior at the time, and all of us remarking how glad we were that not only were her songs all so dope, but that she was leading the pack by showing girls young and old that you can be sweet, sexy, and seductive all while remaining fully-clothed. I always admired her for that. I also admired her for being able to stay out of the gossip pages, despite the R Kelly marriage  rumor debacle. 

The day that she died I received a text page on my phone and was so saddened to hear the news. Especially the thought that she died the way she did, but what was at least comforting is that she had her close friends and associates around her in the plane. Most disturbing to find out after she passed was not only that the pilot who flew the plane was very shady and possibly inebriated at the time of takeoff, but the way some members of the media chose to deal with the tragedy. Of course, not too long after this plane crash, 9-11 occurred, which made the Aaliyah event seem all the more surreal. 

I am not really a pop music listener, but her body of work had me humming along to her songs rather often. Her foray into rock music on "I Can Be" was always one of my favorite cuts, especially as she crooned that "I can be/ The other woman/ In your life" which was a side of Aaliyah that was very unexpected but bad...meaning good.  

God bless Aaliyah and all those who were on the plane with her. Happy 29th Birthday, girl...

Favorite cuts: "One In A Million," "Four Page Letter," "Heartbroken," "I Can Be"

nOva says:

Aaliyah is definitely deserving of the adoration based on what she was able to accomplish during her brief time with us, but she was truly robbed of the stardom she was headed for. Her panache and disposition made her a public relations dream and she was always moving forward with her music. Aaliyah's creativity was never in stasis.

Just imagine where R&B would be if she were still alive...

Favorite cuts: "At Your Best," "More Than a Woman," "If Your Girl Only Knew," "Rock the Boat"


8 Responses

  1. Aaliyah was and forever will be the best artist in the world 4 me..She's been with me since I was 13 and this was the time I really needed a role model,someone who'd show me what's the right way..Of course I have a wonderful mother but in this period the young tend to look up at music or fims stars..I'm so glad I've chosen Aaliyah! The young beautiful lady that with her songs and amazing voice were incouragging me to make my dreams come true..!:) Thank you Aaliyah - the highest most exalted One..i miss you but feel your presence every day my guardian Angel! Today is your day! we love you!!
    fave songs:i care 4 u,journey to the past, more than a woman,you wont see me tonight,turn the page ecc

  2. "You Won't See Me Tonight" is a heater. I love that song!!!

  3. 29! Wow - I always thought Babygirl was much younger than me. Indeed, she was one of those artists I'll never forget. I remember vividly where I was when the news came out that she had passed. Indeed it was a Saturday night. I will always remember how when she first stepped on the scene, she always wore her hair covering one eye, denoting her shyness. But when she came out and that hair was pushed back, it was on! More Than A Woman indeed.
    My faves have already been mentioned: 4 Page Letter, If Your Girl Only Knew, At Your Best (I loved the purity of her voice on this one), Rock The Boat (LOVED that video...although it's hard to look at it)
    Oh and I have to say I really resented when they would compare her and Ciara. I'm sorry - there will never be another Babygirl.

  4. We were born in the same year. 1979. Whenever I see a memoriam post about Aaliyah, it strikes me. So young, and she did so much with her time here on earth. She will never be forgotten.
    At Your Best is definitely a favorite. So beautiful. I Care 4 U can practically make tears come to my eyes. Great post, y'all.

  5. Aaliyah is and will always be my favorite singers. I could remember the first time I heard her song it was Age Aint Nothin But A Number. Ever since then I love her music.
    I could remember when they announced her death, my cousins called me ask if I was ok. I was lost cuz i didnt know what she was talking about but then she told me the news. I was shocked and speechless. That year was hard and as the beginning of the following year, I lost my mother from a heart attack. I really knew then how it feels to loses a loved one. I lost two people I looked up to.
    Eventhough these two beautiful women are not here physically, they are spirtually.
    Good Bless Aaliyah and her friends that were on the plane with her. My heart goes out to there family and friends
    Favorite Song: One In A Million

  6. I remember watching the news and they said that "Singer Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash" Time stood still for me at that momment. A few days before her passing, I remember watching M.T.V. The show was called Diary, Aaliyah was on it. I remember admiring her and her glamorous lifestyle. It just goes to show life is short. Enjoy every momment while you can. RIP Aaliyah.

    love love love

  8. i miss u why did u haft to leve dis world but now u have your wings one day i will see u aging and yes im writing u a 4 page letter i love yo much love asia