10 Facts About R&B Icon Aaliyah You (Probably) Didn’t Know

Written by: Kenneth Ware – April 24th, 2020 3:35pm pst


credit: Biography.com

Aaliyah would have been 41 years old today had she not passed away in a plane crash in 2001 at the age of 22. The singer, actress, and model was born in Brooklyn but grew up in Detroit. Before she passed away, Aaliyah released three studio albums and appeared in several films.

Below are 10 facts about Aaliyah you (probably) didn’t know:

1.) Aaliyah’s name means “highest, most exalted one” in Arabic and Swahili.

Credit: NBC

2.) Aaliyah performed “My Funny Valentine” on Star Search when she was 10. 

Credit: Star Search

3.) Gladys Knight was Aaliyah’s aunt. She was married to Aaliyah’s uncle, Barry Hankerson. Aaliyah spent five nights in Las Vegas when she was 11 years old performing alongside Gladys Knight.

Credit: Blackground Records

4.) In order to get accepted into the Detroit High School of Performing Arts, Aaliyah sang “Ave Maria” entirely in Latin. She graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

Credit: Detroit High School for the Performing Arts

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

Credit: Blackground Records

6.) In 1998, Aaliyah made history by becoming the youngest person to perform at the Oscars during the live ceremony at the age of 19. 

7.) Aaliyah performed at a White House Christmas celebration for Bill and Hillary Clinton.

8.) Aaliyah had four tattoos: the letter A on the side of her wrist; an Egyptian ankh in her inner wrist; a music symbol on her ankle; a dove on her lower back.


9.) In her final television appearance, on BET’s 106 and Park, Aaliyah admitted she never owned a car. She explained that, since she lived in New York City, it was not practical or necessary.

Credit: BET 106th & Park

10.) In a 2001 interview with Vibe Magazine, Aaliyah revealed she was a fan of the Harry Potter books and played video games such as Time Crisis II.

Credit: Vibe Magazine

If you love Aaliyah and our BHL Remembers Aaliyah series, share this article with a friend.  Tune in daily to Black Hollywood Live and our sister network AfterbuzzTV for articles, aftershows, and all the latest news on the world of entertainment.

About The Author:

Kenneth Ware is a Texas native filled with a passion for writing, style, and a sense of humor. The Los Angeles-based writer’s credits include the New York Times, Houston Chronicle, and Washington Post.

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