20 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Aaliyah was originally published on theboxhouston.com
1. She performed on ‘Star Search’ and sang “My Funny Valentine” in 1989.
2. Aaliyah was the youngest singer to perform at the Oscars with 1998’s “Journey to the Past” from ‘Anastasia.’ She was only 19.
3. Aaliyah’s name means “highest, most exalted one” in Arabic.
4. She is the niece of music legend Gladys Knight.
5. Throughout her short career, Aaliyah won more than 30 awards, including Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist at the 2002 American Music Awards, Best Actress for ‘Queen of the Damned’ at the 2002 BET Awards and Top Hip-Hop/R&B Artist of the Year at the 2000 Billboard Music Awards.
6. Aaliyah was engaged to music mogul Dame Dash at the time of her passing.
7. The video treatment for her song “4 Page Letter” was written by her brother Rashad.
8. She modeled for Tommy Hilfiger, where she met BFF Kidada Jones.
9. She was real-life BFFs with Quincy Jones’ daughter Kidada.
10. She once had a bet with Missy Elliott about who would wear a dress first, because neither of them ever wore one.
11. Her final interview was on “106 & Park” just five days before her passing.
12. She was considered for the role of “Alex” in 2000’s “Charlie’s Angels” film. The role went to Lucy Liu because the filmmakers thought Aaliyah was too young.
13. Aaliyah was nominated for an Academy Award for her song “Journey to the Past” from the animated film “Anastasia.” She lost to “My Heart Will Go On” from “Titanic.”
14. She wore her hair covering her left eye, which was an homage to silver screen actress Veronica Lake, whose trademark peek-a-boo hair was worn over her right eye.
15. “Rock The Boat” was written two years before it was released, because the label didn’t think Aaliyah was ready for such a sexual song.
16. She was also set to play the title character in “Honey,” but the role went to Jessica Alba after her passing.
17. Aaliyah’s toy orangutan, given to her by her grandmother, appeared in a scene in “Romeo Must Die.”
18. In order to get accepted into the Detroit High School of Performing Arts, Aaliyah sang “Ave Maria” entirely in Latin.
19. Her untimely death pushed Mary J. Blige to clean up her life after years of alcohol and drug abuse.
20. She has been credited for helping redefine contemporary R&B and hip-hop, earning her the nicknames “Princess of R&B” and “Queen of Urban Pop.”