R&B icon Aaliyah ― who helped redefine the genre with her unique mix of old school and new school sound ― continues to inspire and influence music, fashion and culture decades after her untimely death in an August 2001 plane crash. ABC News announced today “Superstar: Aaliyah,” a one-hour special that follows the legendary artist’s life, music and enduring legacy.
The primetime event explores how Aaliyah emerged as a chart-topping musician, actress on the rise and fashion trendsetter as a young teenager. The program sheds light on the circumstances of her underage marriage to R. Kelly, who has since been convicted as a sex offender, and shows how Aaliyah’s relevance continues as a new generation experiences her music decades later.
The program features exclusive interviews with those who were close to Aaliyah, including music executive Damon Dash, her former boyfriend; Barry Hankerson, her manager and uncle; and recording engineer and producer Jimmy Douglass, who worked with Aaliyah in the studio. ABC News also has exclusive interviews with recording artists who cite Aaliyah as an influence, including Justine Skye, Sevyn Streeter and will.i.am. In addition, the program features exclusive interviews with fashion designers Karl Kani, who opens up about what it was like to style Aaliyah, and designer and stylist Aleali May, who reflects on Aaliyah as an enduring sartorial muse. “Superstar: Aaliyah” airs Wednesday, June 14 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC, next day on Hulu.
“Superstar” is produced by ABC News. David Sloan is senior executive producer. Muriel Pearson is executive producer. Gabriel Noble is a producer.