Skip to main content
CNN.com /transcript


CNN TV
EDITIONS

CNN SUNDAY MORNING

Singer Aaliyah Dead at 22

Aired August 26, 2001 - 09:32   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JEFF FLOCK, CNN ANCHOR: Singer Aaliyah and seven others have been killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas. Police say the entertainer's charter plane crashed after a take off from Marsh Harbour. She was returning to Opa-Locka in south Florida after shooting a music video. One man did survive the crash and is being now treated at a Florida hospital. The cause of that crash still, of course, under investigation.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Aaliyah was only 22 years old, but her rise to stardom began when she was just a little girl. The R&B star became a triple threat as a singer, a dancer, an actress. And like other young talents who have died before their time, Aaliyah's star was rising. Here's a look at her career.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS (voice-over): Grammy-nominated singer, Aaliyah, once described herself as street, but sweet, yet she grew up anything but street.

Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born in Brooklyn and raised in Detroit. She was a straight A student at a performing art school, went on "Star Search" at age 11 and released her first album, "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number," when she was just 15.

Her first project was produced by singer/songwriter R. Kelly. Soon after, unconfirmed reports surfaced that Aaliyah and Kelly had married. The relationship didn't last, but Aaliyah did go on to her multi-platinum sophomore album, "One In A Million" in 1996.

Her latest release, "Aaliyah" hit record stores only last month. Aaliyah's talent and style also earned her a string of movie offers. She received critical acclaim for her role in last year's Kung Fu fighting "Romeo Must Die," which led her to a huge Grammy-nominated hit, try again, featured on the movie sound-track.

And Aaliyah was scheduled to star in two follow-ups to "The Matrix" with Keanu Reeves. The fans will get to see the strikingly pretty entertainer in the upcoming release of Anne Rice's "The Queen of the Damned."

Aaliyah, which is Arabic for the highest, most exalted one, was 22 and a rising megastar.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: And for more now on Aaliyah's life and death, we are joined on the set by Tara Thomas. She is the producer of the "Frank Ski Morning Show," broadcast on Atlanta radio station B-103. Tara is also an entertainment reporter who interviewed Aaliyah just about a month ago. Thank you so much for joining us this morning. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

TARA THOMAS, "FRANK SKI MORNING SHOW": I'm sorry that we had to meet under these circumstances.

PHILLIPS: Yeah, it's a shame. I know it was a shock to the whole community that loved her so much. When you got the news, obviously very surprised.

THOMAS: Oh, without a doubt. I just interviewed her July 27th, almost a month to the day. And my phone was ringing off the hook this morning and very sad news to hear that she had passed away.

PHILLIPS: Well, let's talk about that interview. I understand you had a really great time with her and you really got to know her and a lot about her soul. Let's talk about the interview. Personally, what did you think?

THOMAS: Wonderful person, in good spirits. She had been traveling for a while, promoting her new album, which was coming out that next Tuesday, and had taken the red eye in, got right from the airport, came straight to our studios, and was in good spirits for that because I know she had to be really sleepy.

PHILLIPS: So, she came I, no make up, not made up, no attitude, basically?

THOMAS: No, none at all. Just had a little baseball hat on and was really, really pleasant to be with. One of our best guests.

PHILLIPS: Now, this is an artist that hasn't been known for controversy, which is very rare, because a lot of these R&B artists, we see, get in the middle of, you know, whether it be lyrics or a look or statements. But she sort of stayed out of controversy.

THOMAS: Oh, without a doubt. I think that her music speaks for itself, and a lot of times people kind of push the music just on the controversy, but she was a great artist and there is really no disputing that.

PHILLIPS: Well, what about -- what is it about her music?

THOMAS: You know what? She was a fresh sound when she came out. Young and fresh and she really didn't present that teen thing, you know, a lot of artists like your Brandy's of the world -- you know, everybody was kind of wondering how Their second albums was going to do because they were rather young when they first came out. But she was young, and she is now on her third album, or was on her third album, and she did very well. And was very well respected in the industry. PHILLIPS: Let's talk about the impact she had on the industry. You were telling me Janet Jackson wanted to work with this young lady.

THOMAS: Right. I had an opportunity to interview Janet Jackson when she was promoting "The Nutty Professor" and I often like to ask the question, are there any artists you'd like to work with, to pull out possible collaboration, and she mentioned Aaliyah. She said they were label-mates and she really enjoyed her, enjoyed her work, and she would love to work with her.

And I played that clip for her when she was in the studio and she was so surprised. You know, a Janet Jackson really doesn't have to hand out compliments like that. She is a well established artist, but she appreciated her so much, and she wanted to let everybody know that she is one of the artists that she would have loved to work with.

PHILLIPS: Now, I didn't know this, but she was related to Gladys Knight? She's the niece of Gladys Knight, is that right?

THOMAS: Yeah, as far as I know. I'm not quite sure what the relationship is, but a lot of people, you know, have talent...

PHILLIPS: She didn't use that, though, to promote her career, which is very interesting.

THOMAS: No, not at all. Not at all.

PHILLIPS: So, was that a surprise? We're just finding it out now, more about that relationship. But, she didn't really go on that or use the Gladys Knight name to work up her career.

THOMAS: She doesn't have to. She was a great artist. She doesn't have to, and her music should stand alone.

PHILLIPS: Well, what do you think about her record sales now? Didn't she just finish an album?

THOMAS: Yeah, it's a self-titled album, "Aaliyah," it is a great album. I'm saying it probably would have been a multi-platinum album without her untimely passing, but I think it will do well. It is a great album. And I would -- I think I am under the impression that she may have been filming the video for her second single, which was "Rock the Boat" or "Rock Me, Baby." I'm not quite sure what the single, exactly what the single is, but I think that's the video she was filming.

PHILLIPS: Wow. Any other final thoughts about her?

THOMAS: No, other than that, I would hope that people will remember that she was a beautiful person inside and out and that she was a wonderful artist and I think the industry is going to be strongly impacted by her loss.

PHILLIPS: Tara Thomas, B-103. Thanks for getting up so early and being with us.

THOMAS: I know.

PHILLIPS: It's appreciated.

THOMAS: It's OK. Thank you.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   




MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 














Back to the top