The beautiful and talented Aaliyah was indeed taken away from us far too soon. And although she can never be replaced, we see many try. Whether they try to emulate her tomboy style, her mysterious shyness, or her one of kind music style. We just continue to love and miss her more. Yes, she is dearly missed, and although she is no longer here, she at least had the chance to give us three albums in her brief time. Here are five songs that help tell her life story:
- One in a Million– After abandoning R. Kelly who was responsible for her debut success, Aaliyah ditched her sound and stepped out on faith with new upcoming producers Timbaland and Missy. The song was the first major song to display Timbaland’s drum and beat style. Aside from being the albums third single, it was also its title track and reached number one on the R&B Airplay Chart for six weeks.
- Try Again– In 2000 Aaliyah made her acting debut in the American martial arts action film “Romeo Must Die.” Along with starring in the film she also lent her talents to its soundtrack by recording four songs on the platinum selling album. However, it’s the hard-hitting beat, simple message and finely tuned choreographed video that made “Try Again” a number one pop hit. The song is guaranteed to leave you saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and Try Again.”
- Are You That Somebody– Back when movie soundtracks were a must have, an artist would grace one in between albums. Aaliyah made a lasting impression with her Grammy nominated single “Are You That Somebody” off the “Dr. Dolittle” soundtrack. Produced by Timbaland, written and composed by the late Static Major, the song almost didn’t happen because Aaliyah showed lack of interest in the record. It would later become one of her biggest hits ever. Alongside the Timbaland sound and the baby cooing in the background, the video helped sell the song as well. The funky choreography steps provided by Fatima Robinson, and Aaliyah showing off a more mature sexy side of herself by ditching her tomboy style while performing the flamenco dance. Rolling Stones Magazine commented that the song “remains one of 90’s R&B most astounding moments.”
- We Need a Resolution– Once again produced by Timbaland and written by Static Major. This song will serve as Aaliyah’s leading single off her third self-titled studio album. The song is probably one of the realest songs written about resolving the issues within a relationship that’s growing weary between both parties involved. Stating, “we need a resolution we have so much confusion” throughout the chorus. The songs visual introduced us to Aaliyah the woman.
- Age Aint Nothing But a Number– Being her debut album’s titled track. The song will later serve more purpose and take on a new life, when Aaliyah and mentor R. Kelly secretly married. Although it’s not unusual in the music business for a protégé to marry their mentor or manager, this union was different because she was only 15 and he was 27. On the court documents her age was forged to 18, making the marriage between the two illegal, which later ended up being annulled. She later commented by saying “people took it the wrong way,” but for the pair, age was nothing more than a number.
BONUS: At Your Best (You Are Love) – With R. Kelly being heavily influenced by the Isley Brothers, it was only right that on the young impressionable teen’s debut album there would be a remake from the family group. “At Your Best” would become her second single off her debut and spawn a remix that’s just as good as the original. The remix received the video treatment, while the original remains as a classic Aaliyah sound. She would later record “Choosey Lover” another Isley Brothers tune on her second studio album.