Happy Birthday Aaliyah

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Aaliyah = highest, most exalted one.

What better name could she have been given?  Her grace, her style, her talent, her street but sweet demeanor; she was our sweetheart.  Although gone too soon, her presence will forever live in our hearts.

On January 16, 1979, a star was born; Miss Aaliyah Dana Haughton.  A pretty little ambitious girl with long black hair, and a voice so angelic it would soon transcend the musical charts and become one of the most unique, beautiful and sultry voices of our time.

Just shy of my teenage years, I remember getting my first cd player for Christmas.  I was super excited!  One of the first cds I bought was Aaliyah’s Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number.  As soon as I loaded the disc, as they say, “you couldn’t tell me nothin!”  I remember thinking to myself, “Who IS this girl?! She is so cool! So smooth! How does she move like that?  I love her tomboy style!”, etc., etc.  Long story short, I wanted to BE her.

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So here I am, standing in front of my mirror belting out “Back and Forth”, replicating every dance move I saw in her music video, with my shirt tied up above my belly and wearing the baggiest pants I could find!  Oh, and the look was not complete until I brushed my hair down, slightly covering one of my eyes.  Yep, that was me; I was totally that girl!

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Then along came, One in a Million.  My absolute fave! The world was just not ready for the heat her and producer Timbaland were bringing.  From those crazy beats to the hot choreography, songs like One in a Million, If Your Girl Only KnewHot Like Fire and Four-Page Letter had me and my friends dancin’ all around the playground during recess, and singin’ in talent shows!

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I think her last album (self-entitled) was her best work to date.  This takes me back to 2001, just before I started my freshman year of college.  I spent all weekend making trips to the bookstore, stocking up on food, etc.; however, the only thing I wanted was the new Aaliyah album!  I begged and begged until my Dad finally bought it for me.  I must have listened to that album 100 times while setting up my dorm room.  I connected with songs like More than a Woman, We Need A Resolution and I Care for You, as I was going through some of the same issues, as most young women do during that stage of their lives.

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What I loved most about Aaliyah is that I grew up with her.  I saw her evolve from the sweet tomboy we all knew and loved, to the young woman who was finally coming into her own.  And as I walk down memory lane today, I do that with a smile on my face, thinking about all the great memories that were made through her timeless music!   

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Happy Birthday, Baby Girl 🙂

Here are a few of my fave videos!  And til’ this day, I still know most of the dance moves!  #DontJudgeMe

Enjoy!

Back and Forth

If Your Girl Only Knew

Are You That Somebody

Back in One Piece feat. DMX

We Need A Resolution

More Than A Woman

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mizzezlola@gmail.com

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