R. Kelly Ex Wife: Who is R. Kelly’s First Wife Aaliyah?
Aaliyah Dana Haughton (January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001), known mononymously as Aaliyah, was an American singer, actress, dancer, and model. She has been credited for helping to redefine contemporary R&B, pop and hip hop, earning her the nicknames the “Princess of R&B” and “Queen of Urban Pop”.
Born in Brooklyn but raised in Detroit, she first gained recognition at the age of 10, when she appeared on the television show Star Search and performed in concert alongside Gladys Knight. At the age of 12, Aaliyah signed with Jive Records and her uncle Barry Hankerson’s Blackground Records.
Hankerson introduced her to R. Kelly, who became her mentor, as well as lead songwriter and producer of her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number. The album sold three million copies in the United States and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). After allegations of an illegal marriage with Kelly, Aaliyah ended her contract with Jive and signed with Atlantic Records.
With the release of Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number, rumors circulated of a relationship between Aaliyah and R. Kelly, including the allegation that they had secretly married without her parents’ knowledge.
Vibe magazine later revealed a marriage certificate that listed the couple married on August 31, 1994, in Sheraton Gateway Suites in Rosemont, Illinois. Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time, was listed as 18 on the certificate; R. Kelly was 27.
The marriage was annulled by her parents in February 1995, but the pair denied the allegations, stating that neither was married, and that the certificate was a forgery.[
Aaliyah reportedly developed an intimate relationship with Kelly during the recording of her debut album. Aaliyah recalled to Vibe magazine in 1994 that she and Kelly would “go watch a movie” and “go eat” when she got tired and would then “come back and work.”
She described the relationship between her and Kelly as being “rather close.” In December 1994, Aaliyah told the Sun-Times that whenever she was asked about being married to Kelly, she urged them not to believe “all that mess” and that she and Kelly were “close” and “people took it the wrong way.”