[HOT TRACK]Rising Star Shines No More

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[HOT TRACK]Rising Star Shines No More

As is the case with artists, sometimes a singer's death prompts a surge of interest in his or her work. This was the case of the rhythm and blues singer and actress Aaliyah, who died on Aug. 25 in a plane crash.

Her recently released third album, "Aaliyah," topped the Billboard chart for the week of Sept. 15, less than three weeks after the tragedy.

Aaliyah was flying back with a crew of seven people to Miami from the Bahamas where she was shooting a music video for the new album. The small Cessna plane went down, killing all but one person aboard. Other singers have died in a plane crash (think Buddy Holly, Patsy Cline, Benny Goodman or Ritchie Valens), but Aaliyah's death came as a shock to the music world.

Born in 1979 in Brooklyn, New York, Aaliyah (pronounced Ah-lee-yah, meaning "highest, most grand one" in Swahili), made her debut in 1994, at 15, with the album "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number." Her debut was mostly noteworthy for being produced by the R&B singer Robert Kelly, whom she married in 1996. The album sold more than 1 million copies on the strength of songs like "Back and Forth" and "At Your Best (You Are Love)." Aaliyah became one of the leading young female R&B singers.

After graduating from Detroit High School of the Performing Arts, where she carried a straight-A average, Aaliyah created a more mature second album, titled "One in a Million" in 1996. This was followed by songs on the sound tracks for the animated movie "Anastasia."

Aaliyah's honey-sweet voice and wide musical range cemented her status as a strong R&B singer, while her acting ability helped further her march to fame. She made an appearance in the movie "Romeo Must Die" (2000), and was signed to star in "Matrix 2" with Keanu Reeves.

Her third album has 15 songs, including "We Need a Resolution" featuring R&B singer and producer Timbaland. Aaliyah deals with many different problems on this CD, like an obsessive boyfriend, asking him, "What's your problem?" The second track, "Loose Rap" has a sophisticated, upbeat sound. Overall, "Aaliyah" has a stable, comfortable R&B sound.

"We lost one of the most talented stars in the world," mourned Aaliyah's publicist. Listening to Aaliyah's voice on her last album, this remark does not sound like an exaggeration.



by Chun Su-jin

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