City of Detroit to join international celebration of the life of superstar Aaliyah

City of Detroit to join international celebration of
the life of superstar Aaliyah


The City of Detroit will join five other cities across the country and three abroad in an international celebration of the late singer, actress and model Aaliyah on the 20th anniversary of her tragic death.

City officials and executives for EMPIRE, the music distribution company, will hold a press conference at 8PM on August 25 in front of the Spirit of Detroit to announce the endeavor to honor Aaliyah Dana Haughton, who died 20 years ago today and would have been 42 this year. Her vocal styling and popularity earned her the nickname “Queen of Urban Pop.” Other participating cities are Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, London, Berlin, and Amsterdam.

EMPIRE executive Kara Hailele-Griffin Coleman will join City Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield, Detroit Director of Arts and Culture Rochelle Riley and 24-Hour Economy Ambassador Adrian Tonon to announce the partnership.

Aaliyah was born in Brooklyn, New York, but raised in Detroit. She gained national attention when she appeared on the TV show “Star Search” when she was 10. Two years later, she signed a record deal with Blackground Records. That led to a contract with Jive Records, which released her debut album “Age Ain't Nothing but a Number.” The album sold three million copies in the U.S. and was certified double platinum. Aaliyah moved to Atlantic Records and worked with Missy Elliott and Timbaland on her second album, “One in a Million,” which sold three million copies in the United States and more than eight million copies worldwide.

In 2000, Aaliyah appeared in her first film, “Romeo Must Die” and scored with the hit single “Try Again” from the soundtrack. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart on radio airplay alone, making Aliyah the first artist in Billboard history to achieve that goal. After “Romeo Must Die,” Aaliyah starred in “Queen of the Damned." She released her third, and final, studio album, “Aliyah” in 2001. It reached the top of the Billboard 200.

On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah died at 22 when a badly overloaded aircraft she was flying in crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all nine people on board. The tragedy made international news. In the decades since her death, Aaliyah's music has continued to achieve commercial success. She has sold more than 24 million albums worldwide. In her short life, she won three American Music Awards and two MTV VMAs. She was nominated for Grammy Award five times. Billboard lists her as the 10th most successful female R&B artist of the past 25 years.

For information about the celebration, contact Rochelle Riley at [email protected] or (313) 480-5265.