Ten years ago today, music lost an angel when Aaliyah Dana Haughton was killed in an airplane crash en route from the Bahamas to Florida. After appearing in concerts with Gladys Knight at age 11, the R&B songstress signed to her uncle’s Blackground Records, who released the then 15-year-old’s debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, in 1994. Written by mentor R. Kelly, the album’s mix of traditional R&B and New Jack Swing helped Aaliyah sell more than 3 million albums and make her an instant star.
1996’s One in a Million and 2001’s Aaliyah would follow, but despite leaving behind a scant catalog, the singer’s immutable grace and soulful vocals made her one of R&B’s most respected artists. While we’ll never know Aaliyah’s full potential, Rap-Up.com celebrates her legacy with 10 classic songs.