She burst into the US charts aged just 15, her trademark baggy pants and crop tops tomboy style, juxtaposed against effortless harmonies and the soprano voice of a seasoned veteran. By 22 she had three hit albums under her belt, and a stripped down sound that far exceeded her peers, her subtlety setting her firmly apart from the shouty, strained vocal acrobatics RnB is so rife with. Were her back catalogue to be released unheard of in today's wilderness of autotune and ropey vocals, she would still sound like a breath of fresh air.
Killed in a plane crash, after leaving the video shoot for single 'Rock The boat' in the Bahamas, the outpouring of grief came at first for the loss of an artist who, if the flawlessness of her final album was anything to go by, had much more to give as a musician and secondly for a woman that had carried herself with incredible grace and dignity. She'd largely kept her private life private and commanded a respect impressive when she was alive, let alone in comparison to the new breed of crotch-thrusting, hypersexed pop princesses that have succeeded her.
A classy and unassuming talent, Aaliyah will never be replicated.
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