Her full name is Aaliyah Haughton which stands for "highest, most exalted one" in Swahili. She was born January 16, 1979 in Brooklyn, NY and moved to Detroit when she was 5 years old. She has a brother named Rashad. Aaliyah just graduated in June-97 from The School for Performing Arts" in Detroit. Aaliyah started singing in church and in school plays and her parents believed she was destined to be a singer so they gave her vocal lessons. "I've been singing all my life, I've always wanted this" Aaliyah said in an interview. By the time Aaliyah was nine years old, she was already performing professionally. She auditioned for record companies, performed on star search and sang with Gladys Knight (who she knew through Gladys' ex-husband) in Las Vegas. Barry Hankerson who is Aaliyah's uncle introduced her to R.Kelly and she sang for him. Then they went to the studio and started working together and signed her a deal with Jive/ Blackground Enterprises (Barry's label). "The work was new to me and since Robert (R.Kelly) did have the experience he basically laid out the album and everything for me". (Age Ain't Nothing But A Number) Her first album released when she was only 15 was a great success, hits like "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number", "Back And Forth", and "Down With The Clique", carried the album easily to a platinum record. After they worked together, rumors started to fly about how Aaliyah and R.Kelly were married, Aaliyah denied the rumors. After a few years Aaliyah released her second album (One In A Million) in late 1996 with no help from R.Kelly. Hits like "If Your Girl Only Knew", "One In A Million", "Hot Like Fire", and "The One I Gave My Heart To" carried the album to multi-platinum and is sure to sell tonnes more!!!