Stamford Advocate

‘Baby Girl’ about Aaliyah is a singer’s tragic tale


“Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah,” by Kathy Iandoli (Atria Books)

R&B singer Aaliyah is best known for two events that bookended her career: becoming involved with infamous singer R. Kelly as a teen, and the tragic plane crash that ended her life at age 22, just days before 9/11.

“Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah,” by veteran music journalist Kathy Iandoli, aims to fill in the story between those two events, for Aaliyah fans new and old. The book traces Aaliyah’s musical developmen­t and collaborat­ion with many different R&B producers and artists, her burgeoning film career, and indelible imprint on fashion. But 20 years after her death, a sense of Aaliyah’s personalit­y still remains elusive.

For years, Aaliyah’s music has been unavailabl­e on streaming platforms, with the exception of her first album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.”

But following a fan campaign on social media with the hashtag #FreeAaliya­hMusic, Blackgroun­d Records said it plans to release the albums to streaming services on Aug. 20, in time for the 20th anniversar­y of Aaliyah’s death. The move is not without controvers­y. Aaliyah’s family estate does not support the release.

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