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Aaliyah

Episode 1 of 5

Ten years after the death of Aaliyah, Trevor Nelson looks back on a woman who helped define R&B, exploring her long-lasting influence on other musicians.

Ten years after Aaliyah's premature death, Trevor Nelson looks back on the life of a woman who helped re-define R&B and explores her long-lasting influence on musicians today.

We get a picture of her early musical beginnings, appearing on TV talent show Star Search at age eleven and touring with her famous auntie, soul singer Gladys Knight, with an interview from her vocal coach of that time.

Then we hear about her first appearances in the charts, working alongside R&B songwriter star R. Kelly, who took Aaliyah on as his hip-hop soul protégée and made some unforgettable 90's hits. However, as scandalous rumours erupted and tarred Aaliyah's name, she made the decision to move on.

What came next would completely change the face of R&B music. We talk to Craig Kallman, who decided to introduce Aaliyah to little known producer-writer duo Timbaland and Missy Elliott. Artists such as Sway, Brenmar and Ny reflect on how the relationship between Timbaland and Aaliyah has affected the way they write music. Here we learn how the risks Aaliyah took to experiment with pop music have influenced the biggest artists of today such as Rihanna and Katy B.

We discover how Aaliyah embarked on a successful acting career, with help from acclaimed director of Queen of The Damned Michael Rymer. As she was filming for this movie, she was recording her final album at the same time - and it would be the shooting of a video for one of the tracks on this album that led to Aaliyah's untimely death in a plane crash. Close friend and stylist Derek Lee talks us through Aaliyah's last days.

Through hearing about Aaliyah's past and getting an understanding of her influence on the present, we are left with an impression of why this woman was so loved and should still be celebrated in 2011.

Part 1 of a 5 part series looking at legendary black music stars who were all unfortunately Gone Too Soon. Available to listen until Sunday 6th November.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 2 Oct 2011 21:00

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