Remembering Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B | Kwesé

Remembering Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B

Remembering Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B

15:30 SAST | 29 Mar 2017

On 25 August 2001 the world of R&B music was rocked by news of the sudden death of ‘the Princess of R&B’, Aaliyah, born Aaliyah Dana Haughton. The American songstress’ life was cut short when the Cessna she was travelling in crashed shortly after take-off in the Bahamas, killing Aaliyah and eight of her crew members.

Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B is on Kwesé Movies 1 (Ch 115, Thursday 6 April at 20:00 CAT).

‘Aaliyah: More than a Woman’
Since her tragic and untimely death, Aaliyah’s life and music continues to be celebrated by the international music industry on both her birthday (16 January) and death date. Thirteen years after her death Lifetime Television released this highly-anticipated biopic, which is based on the Christopher John Farley biography Aaliyah: More than a Woman.

Relationship with R Kelly
In the film American actress Alexandra Shipp portrays Aaliyah’s rise to stardom, industry hardships and triumphs, as well as her highly-publicised relationships with music mogul Dame Dash and R&B legend R Kelly. Kelly is said to have inspired the title track to her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.

Romeo Must Die
In her ten-year career, Aaliyah established herself as a singer, dancer, actress and model. Her debut film performance was as Trish O'Day, starring opposite Chinese action film director-actor Jet Li in Romeo Must Die (2000). The film was a success at the box office and soon after Aaliyah followed up with the release of Queen of the Damned, starring as ancient vampire Queen Akasha. At the time of her death the 22 year-old was leaning more towards developing her acting career, fitting in studio time around her filming schedule.

‘I Miss You’
Her three studio albums received critical acclaim, and sales for her final album Aaliyah (2001) sky-rocketed following her death. Shortly after her death, friends and peers recorded the music video ‘I Miss You’, with appearances from DMX, Missy Elliot, Lil’ Kim, Toni Braxton, Jamie Foxx, Nick Cannon, Queen Latifah and many more.

Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys, American singer-songwriter and The Voice judge, recently revealed that her hit single ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ was written right after she heard of Aaliyah’s death. “I was on a plane and I think being on a plane and knowing that she passed away after a plane crash – there was just this sentiment of being present in the moment and really…nothing else mattering but those that you love.”

A ‘Jill’ of all trades
Many more artists have hailed ‘the Princess of R&B’ for her influence in today’s pop culture. From fashion to music and being a ‘Jill’ of all industry trades, Aaliyah has left an indelible mark on her legions of fans, which include the biggest names in music today. Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B is both highly entertaining and heartbreakingly nostalgic: see it 6 April on Kwesé Movies 1.

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