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Trivia / Aaliyah

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  • Awesome, Dear Boy: She starred in Queen of the Damned because she was a vampire fan, and was interested in Egyptian mythology.
  • Breakthrough Hit: "One in a Million" is regarded as her true breakthrough, staying at number one on the Billboard R&B charts for six weeks.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit:
    • Her single "Are You That Somebody?" was recorded for Dr. Dolittle. Fans might forget that it was recorded specifically for the movie, as it is considered one of the biggest songs of the 90s. It also got Aaliyah her first Grammy nomination.
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    • Subverted with "Journey To The Past" from Anastasia. The song is considered one of her lesser known ones, and most critics preferred Liz Callaway's movie version - which these days has been dubbed the "'Let It Go' of the 90s".
    • Ironically within her own film Romeo Must Die. While it was a modest hit, it isn't as remembered as "Try Again" - which was one of five songs she recorded for it. As noted on the main page, it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 through airplay alone.
  • Follow the Leader: Her style, sound, and overall influence can be seen in singers such as Ciara, Tinashe, Zendaya, Destiny's Child, Jhené Aiko and Cassie Ventura.
  • In Memoriam: The "Rock The Boat" video was released posthumously with a comemmoration to her.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Because her uncle holds the rights to her music except for her first album, it's nigh-impossible to get copies of her last two albums because he refuses to release any of her music after her death. Physical copies are increasingly rare and the only way to get her last two albums is through illegal downloads or bootlegs. Unfortunately, as a side effect from her death, he also refuses to release any music on Blackground Records, stranding many of its artists and producers in Development Hell, forcing them (one example being Jojo) to sue him to release them from their contracts until the label shuttered.
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  • No Export for You: Inverted. "The Thing I Like" was released in the UK but not in the US - due to the controversy surrounding her relationship with R Kelly. Her cover of Marvin Gaye's "Got To Give It Up" was likewise released in the UK but not the US.
  • Non-Singing Voice: She died during production of Queen of the Damned, so her brother Rashad did some of her ADR for her.
  • The Other Marty: She had filmed a couple of scenes for The Matrix Reloaded before her death.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Her cover of "Journey To The Past" from Anastasia was quite different for her. In contrast to her typical edgy R&B, it was an "I Want" Song that was more pop-oriented.
    • It was a similar case with "The One I Gave My Heart To" - which was a power ballad that really showed off how she could belt.
  • Real-Life Relative: Rashad cameos in several of her videos. He also came up with the concept for the "4 Page Letter" video.
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  • The Red Stapler: Her name (an Arabic name meaning "high, lofty, sublime") and variations of it (Aliyah, Alea, etc.) entered the top 1000 most popular baby names in the U.S. only after she became famous.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: She only released 3 albums over 7 years and died at 22, but is considered one of the defining artists of R&B today.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Trent Reznor - yes, that Trent Reznor - was asked to contribute to Aaliyah, but had to pull out due to scheduling conflicts. He hasn't talked much about it since, but it would still have been interesting to hear some industrial R&B.
    • There's also the much more obvious case of What Could Have Been. A lot of the reviews for her third album said that while it was very good on its own, it also shows the enormous potential she had.
    • R&B singer Case claims he was meant to be in the video for "Hot Like Fire" but "got distracted" and didn't make it to the shoot.
    • She was also The Wachowskis' first choice for the role of Zee in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, which would have been her big acting break; after her death, the role went to Nona Gaye instead.
    • She was also being considered for the lead role in a remake of Sparkle.
    • In 2000, she was considered for a role in a third A Star Is Born remake alongside Jamie Foxx.
    • She turned down the small role of Maggie in Get Over It (played by Zoe Saldana) and Valerie in Josie and the Pussycats (played by Rosario Dawson).
    • Was considered for a part in Charlie's Angels but deemed too young.
    • She expressed a desire to collaborate with Janet Jackson, who was a big influence on her. Janet later said she would have loved to work with Aaliyah.


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