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Aaliyah Haughton was born on January 16, 1979 in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of five, her family moved to Detroit where she started what seemed to be a promising career. Only time would tell if this upcoming star would live up to that aspiration and her name, which means "highest, most exalted one" in Swahili.
This bright and rising star started her career with a voice that could be compared to those of Toni Braxton and Janet Jackson.
Aaliyah's talent was recognized at a young age when her mom secured the services of a voice teacher before the young girl even enrolled in school. Young Haughton spent her pre-teen years between singing in school plays and auditioning for various TV projects.
At the age of 9, she appeared on the television show Star Search where she sang My Funny Valentine as an homage to her mom. Just two years later, she went on a five-night stint singing with Gladys Knight's troupe in Las Vegas.