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.
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!
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 Knew, Hot Like Fire and Four-Page Letter had me and my friends dancin’ all around the playground during recess, and singin’ in talent shows!
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.
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!
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
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