From the moment she first stepped onto the music scene in the early '90s, the world knew Aaliyah was destined for greatness. Aaliyah Dana Haughton started out as a little girl with big dreams and eventually, through hard work and immeasurable talent, became one of the most well-loved artists in the history of the genre. Though her life was tragically cut short at the age of 22, the world will always remember the "One in a Million" singer fondly. Saturday (Jan. 16) would have been her 37th birthday, so in honor of the '90s R&B princess, here are six reasons why Aaliyah will always hold a special place in our hearts.
1. . Her Music
Well, duh. It goes without saying that Aaliyah had a voice you could fall in love with. The single "Try Again" earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocalist when she was barely out of her teens.
2. . Her Style
Who could forget Aaliyah's iconic Tommy Hilfiger looks? No one could rock a pair of baggy jeans and a tube top like her. She set herself apart from the pack early in the game, and we've loved her for it ever since.
3. . Her Intelligence
Aaliyah maintained a 4.0 GPA while she was in high school and planned to teach music or drama if her career in the music industry didn't work out. Not one to trivialize the importance of a good education, the "Rock The Boat" singer often spoke to fans about the importance of having something to fall back on besides performing.
4. . Her Humility
Despite how quickly her star rose, Aaliyah never took anything for granted. "I am truly blessed to wake up every morning to do something that I love. There is nothing better than that," she told MTV in 2001. "Everything is worth it - the hard work, the times when you're tired, the times when you are a bit sad. In the end, it's all worth it because it really makes me happy. I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world. I've got good friends, a beautiful family, and I've got a career. I thank God for his blessings every single chance I get."
5. . Her Passion
Watching Aaliyah perform, there's no way anyone could ever doubt that she was meant to be up on stage. "This is what I always wanted," Aaliyah said during a 2001 interview with Vibe magazine. "I breathe to perform, to entertain. I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I'm just a really happy girl right now. I honestly love every aspect of this business. I really do. I feel very fulfilled and complete."
6. . Her Talent
She could sing, she could dance, she could act. Aaliyah had everything going for her, which made the plane crash that claimed her life, as well as the lives of eight others, even more tragic. Her death broke hearts all around the world, but she cotinues to live on through her music and the legacy she left behind.