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20 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Aaliyah  was originally published on

1. A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born

Aaliyah performed on ‘Star Search’ at age 10 and sang “My Funny Valentine” in 1989.

2. Cinemas Biggest Night

Cinemas Biggest Night

Aaliyah was the youngest singer to perform at the Oscars with 1998’s “Journey to the Past” from ‘Anastasia.’ She was only 19.

3. R&B Royalty

R&B Royalty

Aaliyah’s name means “highest, most exalted one” in Arabic.

4. It Runs In The Family

It Runs In The Family

Aaliyah is the niece of music legend Gladys Knight.

5. Trophies On Top Of Trophies

Trophies On Top Of Trophies

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. A Lost Love

A Lost Love

Aaliyah was engaged to music mogul Damon Dash at the time of her passing.

7. The Family Come Up

The Family Come Up

The video treatment for her song “4 Page Letter” was written by her brother Rashad.

8. She Had The Looks

She Had The Looks

She modeled for Tommy Hilfiger, where she met BFF Kidada Jones.

9. A Famous Ride Or Die

A Famous Ride Or Die

She was real-life BFFs with Quincy Jones’ daughter Kidada.

10. Put That On Everything

Put That On Everything

She once had a bet with Missy Elliott about who would wear a dress first, because neither of them ever wore one.

11. Final Words To The World

Final Words To The World

Her final interview was on “106 & Park” just five days before her passing.

12. A Missed Opportunity

A Missed Opportunity

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. A War Of Anthems

A War Of Anthems

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. A Covert Shout Out

A Covert Shout Out

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. Let’s Talk About Sex

Let’s Talk About Sex

“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. Always A Leading Lady

Always A Leading Lady

She was also set to play the title character in “Honey,” but the role went to Jessica Alba after her passing.

17. Grandma’s Love

Grandma’s Love

Aaliyah’s toy orangutan, given to her by her grandmother, appeared in a scene in “Romeo Must Die.”

18. Gifted From The Start

Gifted From The Start

In order to get accepted into the Detroit High School of Performing Arts, Aaliyah sang “Ave Maria” entirely in Latin.

19. Inspiring The Greats

Inspiring The Greats

Her untimely death pushed Mary J. Blige to clean up her life after years of alcohol and drug abuse.

20. She Got The Titles

She Got The Titles

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.”