Missy Elliott

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Posted by r2d2 04/18/2009 @ 04:08

Tags : missy elliott, rap and hip-hop, artists, music, entertainment

News headlines
Ginuwine Gets 'Involved' with Missy Elliott, Timbaland via New Single - Singersroom News
A follow up to this spring's hit single "Last Chance," Ginuwine's new cut takes it back to the old school days with Missy Elliott and Timbaland. In fact, "Get Involved" is the first record that has featured the trio since Elliott's 2001 single and...
Jay-Z's 'Blueprint 3' Gets Release Date - Rap-Up.com
The project will purportedly be released on Warner Music Group, home to TI, Diddy, Missy Elliott, Kid Rock, and more. The album's release date is significant, as it comes eight years to the day of the release of the first Blueprint,...
Elektra Records rises again: The return of an iconic record label - Entertainment Weekly
Over the years Elektra has been home to everyone from folkies like Phil Ochs and Judy Collins to cutting-edge rockers like the Doors, Love, and the Stooges, to hip-hop innovators like Missy Elliott -- and that's just a small sampling....
Seattle Times staff reporter - Seattle Times
Back row, from left: equipment manager Andy Costabel, assistant equipment manager Ryan Bragdon, general manager and head coach Lin Dunn, assistant coach Missy Bequette, assistant coach Gary Kloppenburg, Stacey Lovelace, Quacy Barnes, Simone Edwards,...
New Heights - Metro Weekly
After all, the Atlanta-based singer-songwriter -- born Ciara Princess Harris -- is a major-label pop star who frequently collaborates with hip-hop and pop royalty, from Missy Elliott to Ludacris to Justin Timberlake. Timberlake chiefly wrote and is...
Modernists Commission Their Future - New York Times
“They were pretty much the last people I expected to approach me for a commission,” Missy Mazzoli said of a recent request from the League of Composers/International Society for Contemporary Music that she create a work for its 2010-11 concert season....
New Music: Monica - Stay or Go & Betcha She Don't Love You - TheInsider.com
The first snippet “Betcha She Don't Love You” is an 80s inspired mid-tempo produced by Missy Elliott. The other, “Stay or Go” gives us classic Monica vocals with production from Ne-Yo. It's a really nice, straight-up R&B joint....
Stars, surprise guests and a hint of drama always part of Summer Jam - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
In 2006, for instance, Busta Rhymes' set alone featured guest appearances by the Wu-Tang Clan, Slick Rick, Missy Elliott, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Q-Tip and others. Though Summer Jam has helped bolster the sense of hip-hop community and cooperation,...
Saving the world, one event at a time - Creative Loafing
Misa's Closet will be a consignment sale created by Misa Hylton, award winning fashion stylist and the creative mind that developed iconic images such as Mary J. Blige, Little Kim, Lisa Raye, Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah, Kimora Lee, Fat Joe and 50...
The Do: A Mouthful - Times Online
It begins with Playground Hustle, which is what Missy Elliott and Timbaland must have sounded like at the age of 10 — and from there it just gets better and better. Some of it is a little bit Cardigans, some of it is more PJ Harvey,...

Missy Elliott

Melissa Arnette "Missy" Elliott (born July 1, 1971) is a five-time Grammy Award-winning American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. With record sales of over seven million in the United States, she is the only female rapper to have six albums certified platinum by the RIAA, including one double platinum (Under Construction).

Elliott is known for a series of hits and diverse music videos including "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)", "Hot Boyz", "Get Ur Freak On", "One Minute Man", "Work It", "Gossip Folks", "Pass That Dutch", "Lose Control" and "Ching-a-Ling". In addition, Elliott has worked extensively as a songwriter and producer for other artists, both alone and with her producer and childhood friend Timbaland. Elliott's songwriting and production credits include work for a number of other top female artists, among them Aaliyah, Tweet, Ciara, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Keshia Chanté , Monica, Keyshia Cole, Raven-Symone, Madonna, Mary J. Blige, Mýa, Danity Kane, Trina, Nicole Wray, Fantasia, Christina Aguilera, Nelly Furtado, Pussycat Dolls, Melanie Brown, Lil' Mo, and Jazmine Sullivan.

Elliott was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, to her mother Patricia, a power-company coordinator, and her father Ronnie, a Marine. At the age of four, she wanted to be a performer, though she knew no one took her seriously, as she was always the class clown. While her father was a Marine, the family lived in Jacksonville, North Carolina, in a mobile home. Elliott enjoyed school for the friendships she formed and had little interest in school work, though an IQ test classified her above average and she was able to jump two years ahead of her class. This made her feel increasingly isolated, so she purposely failed all her classes, eventually returning to her age-appropriate class. When her father returned from the Marines, they moved back to Virginia, where they lived in a vermin-infested shack.

In 1990 Missy Elliott, La Shawn Shellman, Chonita Coleman, and Radiah Scott formed an R&B group called Sista. She recruited her neighborhood friend Timothy Mosley as the group's producer and began making demo tracks. In 1991, Sista caught the attention of Jodeci member and producer DeVante Swing by performing Jodeci songs a cappella for him backstage after one of his group's concerts. In short order, Sista moved to New York City, signed to Elektra Records through DeVante's Swing Mob imprint. Elliott took Mosley (whom DeVante re-christened Timbaland) and their friend Melvin "Magoo" Barcliff along with her.

All 20-plus members of the Swing Mob, among them future stars such as Ginuwine, Playa, and Tweet, lived in a single two-story house in New York and were often at work on material both for Jodeci and their own projects. While Elliott wrote and rapped on Raven-Symoné's debut 1993 single, "That's What Little Girls Are Made Of", she also contributed songwriting duties, credited and uncredited, to the final two Jodeci albums: 1993's Diary of a Mad Band and 1995's The Show, The After Party, The Hotel. Timbaland and DeVante produced a Sista LP, 4 All the Sistas Around the World, completed in 1994. Though videos were released for the original and remix versions of the single "Brand New," the album was shelved and never released. One of the group's tracks "It's Alright" featuring Craig Mack did make the Dangerous Minds (Soundtrack) in 1995. But by the end of 1995, Swing Mob had folded and many of its members dispersed; Elliott, Timbaland, Magoo, Ginuwine, and Playa remained together and collaborated on each others' records for the rest of the decade.

After leaving Swing Mob, Elliott and Mosley (Timbaland) worked together as a songwriting/production team, crafting tracks for acts including SWV ("Can We?" 1997) and 702 ("Steelo" and its remix), but the most notable of them was Aaliyah. Elliott and Timbaland wrote and produced nine tracks for Aaliyah's second album, One in a Million (1996), among them the hit singles "If Your Girl Only Knew," "One in a Million," "Hot Like Fire," and "4 Page Letter." Elliott contributed background vocals and/or guest raps to nearly all of the tracks on which she and Timbaland worked. One in a Million went double-platinum and made stars out of the production duo.

Elliott and Timbaland continued to work together for other artists, later creating hits for artists such as Total ("What About Us," 1997), Nicole Wray ("Make It Hot," 1998), and Destiny's Child ("Get on the Bus," 1998), as well as one final hit for Aaliyah, "I Care 4 U" before her death in 2001.

Elliott began her career as a featured vocalist rapping on Sean "Puffy" Combs's Bad Boy remixes to Gina Thompson's "The Things That You Do," (which had a video featuring cameo appearances by Notorious B.I.G and Puff Daddy), MC Lyte's 1996 single "Cold Rock a Party" (backup vocals by Gina Thompson), and New Edition's 1996 single "You Don't Have to Worry." Combs had hoped to sign Elliott to his Bad Boy record label. Also that year Elliott appeared on the Men of Vizion's remix of "Do Thangz" which was produced by Rodney Jerkins (coincidentally the producer of the original version of "The Things That You Do").

She instead signed a deal with EastWest Records, a division of Elektra Entertainment Group at that time, in 1996 to create her own imprint, The Goldmind Inc., for which she would record as a solo artist. Timbaland was again recruited as her production partner, a role he would hold on most Elliott solo releases.

Missy also appeared in LSG's song "All the Time" with Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill, Faith Evans, and Coko in 1997 on Levert Sweat Gill classic album. The same year, she rapped in "Keys To My House" with old friends group LeVert.

In the center of a busy period making guest appearances and writing for other artists, Elliott's debut album, Supa Dupa Fly, was released in mid-1997; the success of its lead single "The Rain" led the album to be certified platinum. The album was also nominated for Best Rap Album at the 1998 Grammy Awards, but lost to Puff Daddy's No Way Out. The year also saw Elliott perform live at the MTV Video Music Awards show on a remix to Lil' Kim's "Not Tonight" with fellow rappers Da Brat, Angie Martinez and TLC-rapper Left Eye.

In 1998, Elliott continued her successful career in the background as a producer and writer on Total's single "Trippin'," as well as working with several others in the hip-hop and R&B communities. The same year, Elliott also produced and made a guest appearance on Spice Girl Melanie B's debut solo single, "I Want You Back," which topped the UK Singles Chart.

Although a much darker album than her debut, Elliott's second album was just as successful as the first, selling 1.5 million copies and 3 million copies worldwide. She explained, "I can't even explain the pressure. The last album took me a week to record. This one took almost two months…I couldn't rush it the second time because people expect more." Da Real World (1999) included the singles "All n My Grill," a collaboration with Nicole Wray and Big Boi (from OutKast), a remix to "Hot Boyz" and "She's a Bitch". Also in 1999, Elliott was featured, alongside Da Brat, on the official remix to the popular Mariah Carey single "Heartbreaker".

Missy Elliott next released Miss E… So Addictive in 2001. The album spawned the massive pop and urban hits "One Minute Man", featuring Ludacris and Trina, and "Get Ur Freak On", as well as the international club hit "4 My People" and the less commercially-successful single *"Take Away"*. The double music video for "Take Away/4 My People" was released in the fall of 2001, shortly after the 9-11 terrorist attacks and the tragic death of Elliott's good friend Aaliyah in August. The "Take Away" video contained images of and words about Aaliyah, and the slow ballad acted as a tribute to her memory. The remainder of the video was the more upbeat "4 My People", contained scenes of people dancing happily in front of American flags and Elliott dressed in red, white and blue. Though "Take Away" was not a success on radio, "4 My People" went on to become an American and European club hit due to a popular techno Basement Jaxx remix in 2002.

Tweet's appearance on Elliott's "Take Away" as well as her cameo at Elliott's house on MTV Cribs helped to create a buzz about the new R&B singer. Tweet's own debut single, "Oops (Oh My)", was co-written by Elliott and released through Goldmind in February 2002. The single was a top ten hit, thanks partially to Elliott's songwriting and guest rap, and to Timbaland's unusual production on the track. Elliott co-produced the Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa and Pink cover of "Lady Marmalade" for the Moulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film album, which went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2001.

For her next outing, Elliott and Timbaland focused on an old school sound, utilizing many old school rap and funk samples, such as Run DMC's "Peter Piper" and Frankie Smith's "Double Dutch Bus" (in "Work It" and "Gossip Folks", respectively). Elliott's fourth album, 2002's Under Construction (see 2002 in music), included the aforementioned singles "Work It", Elliott's second biggest hit to date, and the successful duet with Ludacris, "Gossip Folks". As the "Work It" video had done during 2002, "Gossip Folks" became one of the most-played music videos on MTV, MTV2, MTV Jams, and BET in 2003. It received significantly less attention than "Work It" at urban radio, but was embraced by the dance community, as well as the mainstream, due to a Fatboy Slim remix. Although not released as single and with no video, "Pussycat", peaked at #77 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album is known as the best selling female rap album ever with 2.1 million copies sold in the United States.

Under Construction also included a track called "Back In The Day", a nostalgic ode to old school hip hop music and fashion that featured guest vocals from Jay-Z and Tweet. A video was shot and an article on MTV.com was posted, but the video was never released.

Early 2003, Elliott produced the "American Dream Remix" (featuring Tweet's additional vocals) of Madonna's single "American Life". In the summer of 2003, Elliott was the featured rapper on Timbaland & Magoo's long-awaited return single, "Cop That Shit"; the song was a modest hit at urban radio.

For the soundtrack to the Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles movie by the same name, Elliott produced "Fighting Temptation" (featuring herself, Beyoncé, Free and MC Lyte) which reached the number one spot in Japan but failed to chart in the U.S. Hot 100.

Also in 2003, Elliott was featured on Wyclef Jean's "Party To Damascus" and Ghostface Killah's "Tush" singles, the latter of which became a minor 2004 dance hit, and had a pivotal role in the film Honey, starring Jessica Alba. Gap approached Elliott later in the year to co-star in a commercial with Madonna, which received much media attention. Elliott furthered her relationship with Madonna by performing the controversial 2003 MTV Video Music Awards show opening alongside Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

In 2004, Elliott was featured on Ciara's hit single "1, 2 Step", with her verse interpolating Teena Marie's single, "Square Biz".

Elliott premiered her own reality show on the UPN Network, The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott in mid-2005. Although the series never made impressive ratings, it did maintain a solid audience. The winner, Jessica Betts, has yet to release an album or single, which was the prize of the show.

Following her less than usual sales from her previous album, Elliott wanted to "give people the unexpected" by utilizing producers other than Timbaland and a "more to the center" sound not as far left as her other music. Her sixth solo album, The Cookbook was released in July 2005 and debuted at number two on the U.S. charts. Its first single, "Lose Control", which featured Ciara and Fatman Scoop, became a Top 10 hit in the early summer (peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100), and the other album tracks featured guest appearances from Mike Jones, Fantasia, M.I.A., Slick Rick, Mary J. Blige, and Pharrell. The video for "Lose Control" garnered Elliott six 2005 MTV VMA award nominations, ultimately winning two awards in the categories Best Dance Video and Best Hip-Hop Video in August 2005. After the VMA's, Elliott released "Teary Eyed" which charted lowly, although the video charted on MTV's TRL for a few weeks, and BET's 106 & Park for a few days. "Teary Eyed" is one of the few tracks that showcase Elliott with her talented ability to also sing well.

In early September, Elliott tore her Achilles tendon while shooting the music video for her song "We Run This", requiring surgery and a long recovery, thus dampening promotion efforts for The Cookbook. In November 2005, Elliott won Best Female Hip Hop Artist at the 2005 American Music Awards, defeating colleagues Lil' Kim and Trina. Also in November, Elliott's remixed version of Ashlee Simpson's "L.O.V.E." (from her second album, I Am Me) was included on the CD single.

In December 2005, Elliott was nominated for five Grammy Awards, including two for "Lose Control" (Best Short Form Video, which she won and Best Rap Song), one for The Cookbook (Best Rap Album), one for writing Fantasia's "Free Yourself" (Best R&B Song), and one for "1, 2 Step" with Ciara (Best Rap/Sung Collaboration). Elliott was also nominated for Best International Female Artist at the 2006 BRIT Awards.

In early 2006, Elliott's single and video for "We Run This" was released with heavy airplay on VH1, MTV, and BET. It served as the lead single for the soundtrack to the gymnastics-themed film Stick It.

Missy Elliott was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Rap Solo Performance category for "We Run This".

Respect M.E., Elliott's first greatest hits album, was released outside the United States and Canada on September 4, 2006, only in South Africa, Australia, Europe, Japan, and Brazil. The collection became her second top ten album in the UK and her highest charting album to date, peaking at number seven there. According to the BPI, it has been certified Gold for sales of over 100,000 units in the UK and 500,000 copies world wide.

The album cover shows Missy Elliott riding a Friesian horse with a dark, cloudy background. The M.E. can be understood as either the word 'me' or could be referring to Missy Elliott. "Respect M.E." is also the name of her clothing line produced by Adidas. "Take Away" did not make the album cut but was replaced with the more successful Basement Jaxx dance remix of "4 My People".

In January 2008, Ching-a-Ling was released as the lead single for the Step Up 2 the Streets soundtrack. "Shake Your Pom Pom," produced by Timbaland, is also on the soundtrack. Both songs may appear on Elliott's forthcoming album.

Elliott contributed to charity throughout her career, especially to causes close to her heart, such as domestic violence and teen obesity.

Elliott is also affiliated with the charity Break the Cycle, which focuses on eliminating domestic abuse. In conjunction with her reality show The Road to Stardom, there was a contest for viewers to create a public service ad for the Break the Cycle foundation.

In 2004, Missy Elliott joined forces with MAC Cosmetics to promote their "Viva Glam" campaign. In addition to the ad campaign, Elliott promoted the MAC Viva Glam V lipstick from which 100% of the sale goes to the M.A.C Aids Fund.

In 2007, Elliott appeared on a ABC's Extreme Makeover and awarded four scholarships for a weight loss program to four underprivileged teens.

She also helps with many other charitable organizations in lower income areas across the country.

In 2005, it announced that there are plans to make biographical film about the life story of Elliott and be shown in theaters. Producers include Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, while the film is being written and directed by Diane Houston. In mid-June 2007, Elliott said she was still working on the script with Diane Houston in order "to come up with the right stuff cause I don’t want it to be watered down. I want it to be raw and uncut the way my life was" Initially, it seemed Timbaland wouldn't be a part of the movie. When Missy asked him he refused, citing he felt it dramatizes his character; "the movie is about her life, her story, that goes deeper than putting me into the movie". However, Timbaland has since stated that he would reconsider if she could get others, including Ginuwine and Magoo, to sign on.

Missy Elliott was an honoree of the 2007 VH1 Hip Hop Honors. In honor of her career, many artists performed some of her biggest hits. Timbaland and Tweet performed "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)," Eve and Keyshia Cole performed "Hot Boyz" and "Work It", Fatman Scoop and Ciara performed "Lose Control," and Nelly Furtado performed "Get Ur Freak On (The Remix)." The show aired October 8, 2007.

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List of awards and nominations received by Missy Elliott

List of Missy Elliott awards and nominations.

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Aaliyah Dana Haughton (January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001), who performed under the mononym Aaliyah (pronounced /əˈliːə/), was an American recording artist and actress. Introduced to audiences by R&B singer R. Kelly, Aaliyah became famous during the mid-1990s with several hit records from the songwriting-production team of Missy Elliott and Timbaland. She found success with her debut album Age Ain't Nothing But a Number, while introducing a "street but sweet" style which would become her trademark throughout her career followed by two more albums, One In a Million and the eponymous Aaliyah.

In addition to Aaliyah's commercial success, collaborations with Timbaland helped shape the sound of R&B in the later half of the 1990s. She also modeled for Tommy Hilfiger, appeared in a Victoria Secret ad and starred in two motion pictures, Romeo Must Die and Queen of the Damned, before she and eight others died in a plane crash in the Bahamas on August 25, 2001 after filming the music video for the single "Rock the Boat". Since then, Aaliyah has achieved commercial success with the singles "Miss You" and "I Care 4 U". She has had more than 10 Top 25 singles,is credited with 6 number one R&B hits, and has also topped the Billboard Hot 100 with "Try Again", becoming the first song in history to hit number one based on airplay alone.

Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born on January 16, 1979, in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. She was the second and youngest child of Diane and Michael Haughton. Her first name means "highest, most exalted one" in Swahili. Her maternal grandmother, Mintis L. Hicks Hankerson (who was of Native American descent), gave her the middle name Dana. When she five years old, her family moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she was raised as a Roman Catholic with her older brother Rashad Haughton. She attended a Catholic school, Gesu Elementary, where she received a part in the stage play Annie in first grade; from then on, she was determined to be an entertainer. Diane, Aaliyah's mother, was a vocalist and her uncle, Barry Hankerson, was an entertainment lawyer who had been married to Gladys Knight at one point. As a child, Aaliyah traveled with Knight and worked with an agent in New York to audition for commercials and television programs, including Family Matters. and appeared in concert alongside Knight at age 11.

After signing with her uncle Barry Hankerson's Blackground Records label in 1993 at 14, Haughton was putting the final touches on her debut album with singer, songwriter and producer R. Kelly, when she was 15. Kelly became Aaliyah's mentor and was a leading songwriter and producer on her debut album.

As the newcomer's first outing, the first single "Back and Forth" reached gold status. The song subsequently scored Aaliyah her first number one hit on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where it remained three weeks atop. The second single "At Your Best (You Are Love) was a big booster in sales of Aaliyah's album reaching number two on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart". Her debut album Age Ain't Nothing But a Number, a collection of hip hop soul-oriented jazz tunes, reached number 18 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and number 3 on the Top R&B Albums chart. It eventually sold more than two million copies domestically, and although the album's success was limited elsewhere, it produced also the album title-track "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number".

While attending Detroit High School for the Performing Arts, Aaliyah appeared on Star Search and in television pilots, all while auditioning for several record labels. She graduated in 1997 with a 4.0 GPA. Aaliyah began her acting career that same year; she played herself in the police drama television series New York Undercover. The singer continued to soar the following two years, teaming up with Kelly again for the A Low Down Dirty Shame, "The Thing I Like" was released overseas. While not her biggest hit, the single did peak at number 33 on the UK chart.

In 1996, Aaliyah found a new hometeam which included rapper and producer Tim "Timbaland" Mosley and Missy Elliott. The upcoming producers contribute to Haughton's second studio album, One in a Million, which was released on August 27, 1996 internationally. Elliott and Mosley co-wrote and produced majority of the album which yielded her second number-one song on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, "If Your Girl Only Knew,". The single spent two weeks on top of the Billboard charts, and eventually garnered the pair a World Music Award for "World's Best Selling Female R&B Artist".

The album was a landmark in Aaliyah's career, garnering her mass critical acclaim and introducing the singer more mature side. It embarked on the newfound chemistry of Aaliyah and Timbaland. The album's success was equally widespread, and following extensive airplay of the single overseas, the label released it globally following it success. One In A Million eventually became Aaliyah’s biggest album, with certified double-platinum within a year selling over two million copies in the U.S. alone.

She appeared on the soundtrack album for the Fox Animation Studios animated feature Anastasia, singing the pop version of "Journey to the Past". The song was nominated for an Academy Award, and Aaliyah performed the song at the 1998 Academy Awards ceremony, becoming the youngest singer to perform at the ceremony. On The Anastasia DVD, Aaliyah is featured as a Host in the special features.

Hilfiger gave Aaliyah her first endorsement deal. The singer was signed onto print campaigns, runway shows, and a commercial. During this period, Aaliyah would also make guest appearances on albums by artists such as Missy Elliott, Timbaland & Magoo, Ginuwine and Playa. Timbaland and Playa's frontman Static Major remained Aaliyah's principal collaborators for the duration of her career. To date, One in a Million has sold over 2 million copies in the U.S. and over 11 million worldwide to date.

On August 25, 2001, at 6:45 pm (EST), Aaliyah and various members of her record company boarded a twin engine Cessna 402B (N8097W) at Marsh Harbour, Abaco Island, Bahamas to travel to Opa-locka Airport near Miami, Florida after they finished filming the music video to "Rock the Boat". The crew had a flight scheduled the next day, but since the video wrapped early, Aaliyah and her entourage were eager to return to the United States. Aaliyah's entourage was in a rush to get back to New York so they demanded that their heavy equipment from the shoot be on the plane rather than leave it behind which resulted in the aircraft being well beyond the standard weight and balance tolerance provided by Cessna.

The plane crashed shortly after takeoff about 200 feet (60 m) from the runway. Aaliyah, pilot Luis Morales III and the seven other passengers, including her hair stylist Eric Forman, Anthony Dodd, her security guard Scott Gallin, Douglas Kratz (a director of video production for Virgin Records), stylist Christopher Maldonado, Keith Wallace and Gina Smith (both employees of the Blackground label) died. According to findings from an inquest conducted by the coroner's office in the Bahamas, Aaliyah suffered from "severe burns and a blow to the head", in addition to severe shock. The coroner theorized that, even if Aaliyah had survived the crash, her recovery would have been virtually impossible given the severity of her injuries. The NTSB report stated "The airplane was seen lifting off the runway, and then nose down, impacting in a marsh on the south side of the departure end of runway 27." It also indicated that the pilot, Luis Morales III, was not approved to pilot the plane he was attempting to fly. Morales falsely obtained his FAA license by showing hundreds of hours never flown, and he may also have falsified how many hours he had flown in order to get a job with his employer, Blackhawk International Airways. Additionally, an autopsy performed on Morales revealed traces of cocaine and alcohol in his blood.

The day of the crash was Morales' first official day with Blackhawk International Airways, an FAA Part 135 single-pilot operation. In addition, Luis Morales III was not registered with the FAA to fly for Blackhawk. As a result of the accident, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Aaliyah's parents and was later settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Further investigations determined the plane was over its total gross weight by several hundred pounds. Eddie Golson, president of Pro Freight Cargo Services at Opa-locka Airport, said workers carted "a pickup truck of freight" from the crash site. Two of the passengers weighed in the region of 300 pounds and sat in the rear of the plane, where the baggage was also stored. The NTSB report stated that "the total gross weight of the airplane was substantially exceeded." In addition, with heavy passengers and cargo in the back, the center of gravity was pushed too far aft. This caused an uncontrollable nose-up attitude, leading to a stall. Aaliyah's funeral was held on August 31, 2001 at Saint Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church in Manhattan, New York City.

With the death of Aaliyah, her eponymous album, Aaliyah, went from number 19 to number one on the Billboard 200. The album was certified double Platinum by the RIAA and sold 2.5 million copies in the United States. It went on to sell six million copies worldwide. She went on to win two posthumous American Music Awards in 2002; Favorite Female R&B Artist and Favorite R&B/Soul Album for Aaliyah.

Aaliyah was signed to appear in future films Honey (recasted to Jessica Alba), State Property 2 (recasted to Mariah Carey) and a Whitney Houston-produced remake of the 1976 film Sparkle which was later announced cancelled as well as Some Kind of Blue which was cancelled as well due to Aaliyah's death. Aaliyah was also offered a role in Ice Cube's film Next Friday but due to a busy schedule and promotion of her debut film Romeo Must Die, she could not commit to the role and was later scrapped. Looking ahead, Aaliyah had a supporting role in the two sequels of The Matrix as Zee, the wife of Harold Perrineau Jr.'s character, Link. The directors initially tried to find a way to incorporate her footage into the movies but decided against it due to lack of material available. The role was recast with Nona Gaye playing the role. In 2004, The Matrix was released to DVD, tributes and footage of Aaliyah were found inside the special features. She was also set to work with musician Trent Reznor but their schedules (Post production of Aaliyah's sophomore movie Queen Of The Damned and Nine Inch Nails' The Fragility Tour) conflicted with each other and the collaboration never scheduled.

Barry & Sons, Inc., a corporation formed in 1992 to develop, promote and capitalize on the musical talents of Aaliyah and to oversee the production and distribution of her records, tapes and music videos, brought an unsuccessful lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against Instinct Productions LLC, (a company hired by Barry & Sons, Inc. in August 2001 to produce the "Rock the Boat" music video). The case was dismissed since New York State's wrongful death statute only permits certain people to recover damages for wrongful death.

Her last film Queen of the Damned was released in early 2002. Before its release, Aaliyah's brother Rashad Haughton was called upon to re-dub several of his sister's lines during the post-production ADR process. Upon its release, the film debuted at number one. The film was dedicated to her memory.

Aaliyah's "More than a Woman", released on January 7 and topped the chart on January 13, was followed by Harrison's "My Sweet Lord", re-released on January 14 and topped the chart on January 20. Her album One in a Million became one of the most influential R&B albums of the 1990s.

Aaliyah was voted one of "The Top 40 Women of the Video Era" in VH1's The Greatest, also ranked number 36 on their list of the 100 Sexiest Artists. Aaliyah also made E!'s list on the 101 Most Shocking Moments in Entertainment, Juiciest Hollywood Hookups, and Best Kept Hollywood Secrets. Aaliyah recently ranked at number 18 on BET's "Top 25 Dancers of All Time" and ranked at number four on BET's "Top 25 Sexiest Women of all Time".

Her family created The Aaliyah Memorial Fund which will donate money raised to charities Aaliyah supported. Aaliyah's Cancer Awareness Angels participate in a Revlon Run Walk in which Aaliyah herself once participated.

The name "Aaliyah" did not appear on the Social Security Administration's popular baby names list for girls until 1994, the year of Aaliyah's debut album. However, it entered the top 100 of that list in 2001, the year of her death; it has remained there every year since, through the most recent list (2007).

In May of 2008 it was announced that The Detroit School of Arts (Aaliyah's Alma Mater) had named a Recital Hall in honor of the late songtress.

Aaliyah had a vocal range of a soprano. With the release of her debut single "Back and Forth", Dimitri Ehrlich of Entertainment Weekly expressed Aaliyah's "silky vocals are more agile than those of self-proclaimed queen of hip-hop soul Mary J. Blige." Though Aaliyah did not write any of her own material, her lyrics have been said to contain much substance. Her songs were often uptempo and melancholy, revolving around matters of the heart. She incorporates R&B, pop and hip hop into her music, supplemented by guitars and synthesizers. Her songs have been said to have "crisp production" and "staccato arrangements" that extend genre boundaries while containing "old-school" soul music. When experimenting with other genres, such as Latin pop and heavy metal, writers panned the attempt.

As her albums progressed, writers felt that Aaliyah matured, calling her progress a "declaration of strength and independence". Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic described her eponymous album, Aaliyah, as not only "a statement of maturity and a stunning artistic leap forward", but also one of the strongest urban soul records of the 2000s. She portrayed unfamiliar "sounds, styles and emotions", but managed to please critics with the contemporary sound it contained. Ernest Hardy of Rolling Stone felt that Aaliyah reflected a stronger technique, where she gave her best vocal performance. Others felt that she was "satisfying rather than extraordinary", claiming that she added little to modern R&B.

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The Goldmind Inc.

The Goldmind, Inc. is an American record label founded by hip hop artist Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott. Elliott was once distributed through Elektra Entertainment Group, and more recently by Atlantic Records before starting her own label. The Goldmind, Inc. is home to Missy "Misdermeanor" Elliott, Tweet and Jessica Betts, specializing in R&B/Hip-Hop/Soul music.

In 1997 Missy Elliott released her debut album Supa Dupa Fly, making it The Goldmind, Inc.'s official entrance into the music industry. The album, which was produced by Timbaland, spawned four hit singles, including the Grammy nominated "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)", "Sock It 2 Me", "Beep Me 911" and "Hit 'Em Wit Da Hee". The album featured vocals by Nicole Wray, who was to become Elliott's first artist for The Goldmind, Inc. other than Elliott herself.

In 1998 Nicole released her debut album Make It Hot, which was backed by the Timbaland produced smash hit single of the same title and two other minor hits "I Can't See" and "Eyes Better Not Wander". That same year Elliott was asked to Executive Produce, along with Timbaland, Sylvia Rhone and Merlin Bobb, the soundtrack to the film Why Do Fools Fall In Love (starring Halle Berry, Vivica A. Fox, Lela Rochon and Larenz Tate). The soundtrack featured vocals from Gina Thompson, Destiny's Child, Coko, Busta Rhymes, En Vogue, Lil' Mo, Mel B aka Scary Spice, Mint Condition, The Goldmind's Nicole and the newly signed Mocha and Elliott herself. The soundtrack produced four minor hits "Get On The Bus" Performed by Destiny's Child and Timbaland, "No Fool No More" Performed by En Vogue, "I Want You Back" Performed by Mel B and "5 Minutes" Performed by Lil' Mo.

In 1999, after signing three more artists: Gina Thompson (who appeared on the "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" Soundtrack), Danja Mowf and Torrey Carter; Elliott released her second album Da Real World which was originally intended to be called "She's A Bitch". The album was widely embraced by Elliott's fans and fans of the Timbaland sound. The album gave Elliott another three hit singles "She's A Bitch", the #1 hit single "Hot Boyz" and "All N My Grill" which featured vocals from Nicole. Gina Thompson, who was originally signed to Mercury Records under the production of Rodney and Fred Jerkins' Darkchild productions, produced a hit single featuring Elliott "Ya Di Ya". The song was taken from her second album If You Only Knew, but the album was never officially released.

In early 2000, Elliott's '"Da Real World" was still on the charts. That year saw the debut of Elliott's first male artist Torrey Carter (nicknamed T.C.) with the single "Take That" taken from his debut album The Life I Live. His album suffered the same fate as Gina Thompson's album. Danja Mowf of the 'Superfriendz' who was originally signed in 1998 after contributing vocals to Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody (Remix)" and then performing an impromptu rap over the phone, asked to leave The Goldmind because of broken promises that he'd make an album. So with four artist's leaving the label, Elliott began working on her third album, but needed someone to perform background vocals so she gave one of her old friends from her Swing Mob days a call. That friend was Charlene "Tweet" Keys, who was at the time time depressed and penniless and was on the verge of committing suicide. Tweet credits Elliott as her guardian angel.

2001 saw the release of Miss E…So Addictive. The album was a success and produced four hit singles, the Grammy award winning "Get Ur Freak On," "One Minute Man," "Take Away," and "4 My People". 2001 also saw two tragic events in Elliott's life. The first being her mother Patricia Elliott, who plays a major role in The Goldmind, Inc.'s success, suffering a stroke (she has since fully recovered), and the second being the death of her very good friend Aaliyah, who introduced the hit making duo Elliott and Timbaland to the music industry with her second album One In A Million in 1996. Nicole was also supposed to release her second album Elektric Blue that year, but was dropped from the label. She has since then signed with Roc-A-Fella Records. Mocha, who contributed vocals to Elliott's "Hit 'Em Wit Da Hee (Remix)", Gina Thompson's "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" and Nicole's debut album, most notably the hit "Make It Hot", was believed to have left The Goldmind, Inc. around this time because her debut album Bella Mafia was never released and remained in the shadows.

In 2003, Elliott released her platinum selling fifth album This Is Not A Test!. Although it did go platinum, it wasn't as successful as Elliott's previous efforts. The two single's "Pass That Dutch" and "I'm Really Hot" didn’t have a huge impact on radio. Elliott also signed Lil' Brianna aka Kandy Girl (who appears in Elliott's "Pass That Dutch" music video) to The Goldmind.

2004 didn't see any album releases from The Goldmind. This was because Elliott along with The Goldmind, Inc. and Tweet were moved from Elektra Entertainment Group to Atlantic Records. In late 2004, Tweet joined Cee-Lo Green and Teedra Moses on the Seagram's Gin Live Tour in promotion of her new single produced by Kwame & Elliott, "Turn Da Lights Off".

In early 2005, Elliott's new TV Programme The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott premiered. The show followed thirteen would-be musical artists hit the road with Elliott in a competition to be signed to The Goldmind, Inc. Jessica Betts eventually won the competition and walked away with $100,000 and a chance to cut a single for The Goldmind Inc. She is currently in the studio recording her debut album. March 2005 saw the release of Tweet's overdue second album, It's Me Again, but because of poor promotion the album didn't sell as well as originally intended and fell off the charts within months of its release. 2005 also saw the release of Elliott's sixth album The Cookbook. This album saw her departure from her main producing partner, Timbaland, who contributed only two tracks. Elliott says the reason for this was to give themselves a break as she felt they were experiencing "writer's block." The album has so far produced one hit single, the Grammy Nominated and MTV VMA winning "Lose Control" and another single "Teary Eyed". Her current single is "We Run This".

In 2006, rumors circulated that Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas of TLC was negotiating with Missy to sign with The Goldmind. Missy has been confirmed to be an executive producer on Chilli's album. As of 2007, there is still a possibility that Chilli may sign to Goldmind.

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Timbaland FSL.jpg

Timothy Zachery Mosley (born March 10, 1971), better known by his stage name Timbaland, is an American record producer, singer and rapper. Timbaland has produced albums and singles for a number of artists from the mid-1990s to the present day.

Timbaland's first full credit production work was in 1996 on Ginuwine...the Bachelor for R&B singer Ginuwine; the album was both a commercial and critical success. After further successful work on Aaliyah's 1996 album One in a Million and Missy Elliott's 1997 album Supa Dupa Fly, Timbaland became a prominent producer for R&B and hip-hop artists. He also released several of his own albums, often joined by fellow rapper Magoo. Between 2003 and 2005 he mainly worked together with Brandy, next to works with Jay-Z, Lil' Kim and Bubba Sparxx. Timbaland is one of the highest-paid people in the music industry, having earned $22 million in 2008, according to a 2008 Forbes article, "Hip Hop Cash Kings." According to the "Keep It Fit" Campaign, Timbaland was paid $45M during year 2007-2008 for the production of tracks for other artists.

Timbaland was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Originally a disc jockey known as "DJ Timmy Tim" or "DJ Tiny Tim", Mosley began making hip hop backing tracks on a Casio keyboard. While in high school, Mosley began a long term collaboration with rapper Melvin Barcliff, who performed under the name of Magoo. The teenaged Mosley also joined the production ensemble S.B.I. - "Surrounded By Idiots" - which also featured Neptunes producer Pharrell.

Singer/rapper Missy Elliott heard his material and, taken by Mosley’s unique sense of rhythm, began working with him . She and her R&B group Sista auditioned for DeVante Swing, a producer and member of the successful R&B act Jodeci. DeVante signed Sista to his Swing Mob record label and Elliott brought Mosley and Barcliff along with her to New York, where Swing Mob was based. It was DeVante who renamed the young producer Timbaland, after Timberland construction boots, which were popular in hip hop fashion.

Sista, Timbaland, and Magoo became part of DeVante's stable of Swing Mob signees known as "Da Bassment" crew, joining artists such as R&B singer Ginuwine, male vocal group Playa (Smoke E. Digglera, Static Major and Digital Black), and the girl group Sugah. Timbaland did production work on a number of projects with DeVante, including the 1995 Jodeci LP The Show, The After-Party, The Hotel"the theme song to Seasame Street, and Sista’s debut LP 4 All the Sistas Around the World, which was shelved and never released.

Elliott began receiving recognition as a songwriter for artists such as R&B girl group 702 and MC Lyte. Due to Timbaland's connection with her, he was often contacted to produce remixes of her songs. One of these, the remix to 702’s "Steelo" in 1996, became Timbaland’s first major production credit.

In 1996, Ginuwine released his debut album, Ginuwine...the Bachelor, which was produced by Timbaland. The album was both a commercial and critical success. On many of the tracks, Timbaland can be heard either rapping or providing ad-libs, similar to what both Elliott and Puff Daddy were doing at the time; Timbaland’s deep voice was usually vocoded to give it an electronic sound. While work was being completed on Ginuwine...the Bachelor, R&B artist Aaliyah contacted Timbaland and Elliott to write and produce songs for her second album, One in a Million. The tracks that were crafted for Aaliyah featured musical arrangements similar to those on Ginuwine...the Bachelor. One in a Million went on to sell over 11 million copies worldwide.

Asian instrumentation is present through much of his early work (Xscape’s "My Secret" remix, especially, with a sitar outro and Timbaland ad-libbing "Let’s take a little trip...to India"), but was most successful and prevalent with Jay-Z’s "Big Pimpin'" in 1999, which sampled directly from Hossam Ramzy's "Khusara Khusara," a belly dance version of the song "Khosara" originally made famous by Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez in the 1950s. Elliott's 2001 hit single, "Get Ur Freak On" from her third album, Miss E...So Addictive, also used a speedy Tabla drumline typical of Hindustani classical music. Nas' 1999 multi-platinum album I Am... was also partly produced by Timbaland.

Timbaland produced songs including Ludacris' "Roll Out (My Business)", Jay-Z's "Hola' Hovito", Petey Pablo's "Raise Up", and Beck's cover of David Bowie's "Diamond Dogs" during this period. He also contributed three songs, all eventually released as singles, to Aaliyah’s self-titled third album, the exotic lead single "We Need a Resolution" (featuring himself rapping a verse), "More Than a Woman", and the ballad "I Care 4 U".

Timbaland & Magoo’s second album together was slated for release in November 2000. Indecent Proposal was to feature appearances by Beck, Aaliyah, as well as new Timbaland protégés -- some from his new Beat Club Records imprint--Ms. Jade, Kiley Dean, Sebastian, Petey Pablo, and Tweet (who was a member of Sugah during the Swing Mob days). The album was delayed for an entire year, finally released in November 2001. It was a commercial disappointment. Beck’s vocals for the track "I Am Music" were not included on the final version, which instead featured Timbaland singing alongside Steve "Static" Garrett of Playa and Aaliyah.

She was like blood, and I lost blood. Me and her together had this chemistry. I kinda lost half of my creativity to her. It's hard for me to talk to the fans right now. Beyond the music, she was a brilliant person, the person I ever met.

Timbaland contributed three tracks to Tweet’s debut album, Southern Hummingbird, and produced most of Elliott’s fourth and fifth LPs, Under Construction and This Is Not A Test!. He also produced tracks for artists such as Lil’ Kim ("The Jump Off") and southern rapper Pastor Troy during this period. Collaborating with fellow producer Scott Storch, Timbaland also worked on a number of tracks on former *NSYNC lead singer Justin Timberlake’s solo debut, Justified, including the song "Cry Me a River".

Late in 2003, Timbaland delivered the second Bubba Sparxxx album, Deliverance, and the third Timbaland & Magoo album, Under Construction, Part II. Both albums were released to little fanfare or acclaim even though Deliverance was praised by reviews and embraced by the internet community.

Timbaland continued to produce hit singles and albums for artists; in 2004 Timbaland-produced singles by LL Cool J, Xzibit, Fatman Scoop, and Jay-Z became staples on urban radio, and he produced the bulk of Brandy’s fourth album, Afrodisiac. The Timbaland-produced song "I'm So Fly" on Lloyd Banks’s 2004 debut album The Hunger for More is significant in that it was the first official Timbaland production bearing a co-production credit from Danja, who would go on to become a requisite collaborator with Timbaland in the future.

Timbaland started a new label distributed by Interscope, Mosley Music Group, bringing some talent from his former Beat Club Records label. On the new label are Nelly Furtado, Keri Hilson, and rapper D.O.E.. During 2006, Timbaland had seven singles receiving airplay worldwide by Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake. Additionally, Timbaland also appears in most of the videos.

In early 2007, Timbaland mentioned he wanted to work with female artist Britney Spears on her album Blackout. However, Spears had refused. This came during the time she was in a rehabilitation center in Malibu.

Timbaland provides vocals on the singles the Pussycat Dolls's "Wait a Minute", Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous" and "Ice Box" by Omarion, all of which climbed the U.S. charts. In an interview published in August 2006 in the UK, Timbaland revealed he was working on a new LP by Jay-Z and that he had been working on tracks with Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

Timbaland worked on seven songs for Björk’s new album, including "Earth Intruders", "Hope", and "Innocence", and he later worked on tracks for the new Duran Duran album, Red Carpet Massacre, including one featuring his frequent collaborator Justin Timberlake. Later in the year, Timbaland produced songs for Bone Thugs N Harmony's LP, Strength & Loyalty and the song "Ayo Technology" on 50 Cent’s album Curtis. Timbaland also produced most of the tracks on Ashlee Simpson's third CD, Bittersweet World, including the song "Outta My Head (Ay Ya Ya)".

On April 3, 2007, Timbaland released a collaboration album featuring artists such as 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Elton John, Fall Out Boy, Nelly Furtado, Missy Elliott, and others called Timbaland Presents Shock Value. The first single, "Give It to Me" featuring Nelly Furtado and Timberlake, topped Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and received a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. The fourth single from the album, a remix of the OneRepublic song "Apologize", was in the Billboard Hot 100 top ten for 25 weeks, the longest any song of the 2000s has spent in the top ten of the chart.

A rivalry flared up between Timbaland and record producer Scott Storch in early 2007. The tension initially started on the single "Give It to Me", when Timbaland anonymously called out Storch, rapping, "I'm a real producer and you just the piano man". Timbaland confirmed that he was talking about Storch in an interview with MTV personality Sway Calloway. Storch responded with the track "Built Like That" on February 26, 2007, featuring Philadelphia rapper NOX, which caused a final response by Beat-Club-rapper D.O.E. on the song "Piano Man". The end of the feud was confirmed by Timbaland in the final issue of Scratch Magazine.

On the 26 of November 2007, Timbaland and his then-fiancee Monique Idlett became parents to a baby girl Reign. Monique was also a publicist working at Timbaland's Mosley Music Group record company.

In early 2007, Timbaland was accused of plagiarism regarding his work on the Nelly Furtado track "Do It". He is alleged to have plagiarized elements from the song "Acid Jazzed Evening" by Finnish artist Tempest, without giving credit or compensation.

In 2008, Timbaland helped produce many albums for various artists that include Sean Paul's The Next Thing, Madonna's Hard Candy, Brandy's Human, Omarion's ,Menudo's upcoming album, Ashlee Simpson's Bittersweet World, Keri Hilson's In A Perfect World, Flo Rida's Mail On Sunday, Letoya Luckett's Lady Love, Lindsay Lohan's Spirit in the Dark, Chris Cornell's Scream, JoJo's All I Want Is Everything, Nicole Scherzinger's Her Name is Nicole, Missy Elliott's Block Party, Matt Pokora's MP3, Keithian's Dirrty Pop, The Pussycat Dolls's Doll Domination, Busta Rhymes's B.O.M.B, Lisa Maffia's Miss Boss, Teairra Mari's Pressed For Time, Jennifer Hudson's debut album, Dima Bilan's Against The Rules, Ashley Tisdale's Guilty Pleasure, Samantha Jade's, My Name Is Samantha Jade, Brittany Murphy's Debut Album, New Kids on the Block's "The Block" and Keshia Chanté's New Album.

On February 8, 2008, it was announced that Timbaland would be releasing an album solely on a mobile platform for Verizon Wireless's V CAST cell phone service and was designated its very first "Mobile Producer in Residence." Timbaland will be joined by Mosley Music Group/Zone 4 singer/songwriter Keri Hilson to begin work on the mobile album’s first track aboard the fully equipped Mobile Recording Studio. The only track to surface so far is "Get It Girl". In his first effort within the video game industry, he is working with Rockstar Games to produce Beaterator, a music mixing game for the PlayStation Portable to be released in the summer of 2009.

Timbaland postponed his Australian Shock Value tour which was originally set for mid July to August . There has not been a press release and no reason has been given. On August 22 Timbaland was scheduled to play at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena and on the same date The Coke Live Festival in Poland. Timbaland has furthermore cancelled his Australian/New Zealand tour, and is suing the promoter of the concert, "Showtime Touring" for failing to pay and tarnishing his image by making it appear as if the concert didn't go ahead because of personal reasons. Instead, it was because the company failed to make its payments to Timbaland.

In September 2008 it was announced that Timbaland will receive the prestigious honor of being inducted into the Philosophical Society of Trinity College, Dublin as an Honorary Patron in October 2008. This award is over 300 years old and one honoree is chosen every year for exceptional contributions to society.

Timbaland executive producing the movie “Vinyl” which follows the lives of 5 young women facing life altering decisions about their relationships to members of a rock band. Timbaland’s Mosley Media Group is teaming up with Effie T. Brown's Duly Noted Inc. to create the movie. Marcus Spence, President of Mosley Music, Timbaland’s wife and publicist Monique Idlett Mosley, will be producing the film. Shooting starts in spring with Richard Zelniker at the director's helm.

Timbaland is working on Shock Value: Volume 2, alongside British singer Leona Lewis, due in 2009, his 5th studio album and follow-up to his platinum album Shock Value in 2007.

Timbaland is working along side The X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke for her debut album and the next single of the Mexican actress Angelica Vale for her world fame career.

In March 2009, he filed a lawsuit against his label, Blackground Records, alleging that they attempted to blackball him after he decided to move from music performance into production.

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Back in the Day (Missy Elliott song)

“"Back in the Day"” cover

Produced by Elliott's main producer and longtime collaborator Timbaland, "Back In The Day" is an ode to the classic era of old school hip-hop, when the hip-hop culture was, Elliott sings, fun and peaceful, compared to the more violent scope of modern-day hip-hop. "Back in the day/hip-hop has changed", she sings. During the bridge of the song she even makes a point of referencing "Self-Destruction", a 1989 collaborative benefit single for peace featuring a number of that era's hip-hop stars. Incidentally, MC Lyte's verse from "Self-Destruction" is sampled on another of Under Construction's album tracks, "Funky Fresh Dressed".

Jay-Z contributes a rap verse in which he creatively references a number of hip-hop artists (for example, stating "I kill at will like solid water, dude", a reference to Ice Cube's 1990 EP Kill At Will). At one point during his verse, Jay-Z raps "so fuck Chuck Phillips and Bill O'Reilly/if they try to stop hip-hop, we all gon' rally", a reference to two of hip-hop's most vocal critics.

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Tweet (singer)

Tweet (born Charlene L. Keys on January 21, 1971) is an American R&B, soul, and neo soul singer-songwriter and guitarist.

The youngest child of Tom and Shirley Keys, Tweet was born in Rochester, New York and grew up singing in the church along with her parents and her four older siblings (three brothers, Tom, Cedric and Lonnie, and one sister, Sundra). Among them, the five children mastered instruments such as the piano, guitar, bass guitar, drums and many more.

As a young girl, Tweet was inspired not only by her family, but also by larger-than-life divas Janet Jackson, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, and Whitney Houston (whom she later worked with). Tweet's first steps into a career in the music industry first began when she enrolled in the School of the Arts (Rochester, New York). In 1990, at the age of 19, Tweet gave birth to her daughter, Tashawna.

In the early nineties, Tweet joined the female quintet Sugah, leaving her daughter with her parents in Panama City, Florida, while Tweet relocated to many places. Sugah was composed of Tweet, Susan Weems, and Rolita White, and was a part of Devante Swing's Swing Mob collective. While there, she met Timbaland, Magoo, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott (who at the time was apart of the Hip-Hop/R&B group Sista), Playa (band), Ginuwine and Renee Anderson who were also all apart of the Swing Mob collective. During her time with Sugah, Tweet formed a close friendship with Elliott.

Around 1999 with Sugah going nowhere, no album to show, and many broken promises, Tweet returned to her parents' home in Panama City penniless and depressed. After Tweet fell into a deeper depression after a string of bad relationships and a number of jobs she had suicidal thoughts,but she received a phone call from Missy Elliott, calling to ask if Tweet would contribute background vocals on her latest album Miss E ...So Addictive. Tweet felt she could tell Elliott about her situation and what she was going through. To this day she calls Elliott her "Guardian Angel".

In 2000, Tweet began recording vocals for Elliott's album and was also reunited with her old friends from the Swing Mob days, Timbaland, Magoo, Playa, and Ginuwine. She also recorded vocals for Timbaland and Magoo's follow-up to their platinum selling 1997 debut album, Welcome To Our World and Timbaland's solo album, Tim's Bio: Life From Da Bassment. In 2001, Elliott released her Platinum selling third album Miss E ...So Addictive with Tweet contributing vocals to five tracks. 2001 also saw the release of Ja Rule's Pain Is Love, Beat Club Records Bubba Sparxxx's Dark Days, Bright Days, Petey Pablo's Diary Of A Sinner: 1st Entry and Timbaland and Magoo's Indecent Proposal, on all of which Tweet contributed vocals.

Meanwhile, Tweet was signed to Elliott's record label, through Elektra Entertainment Group, The Goldmind Inc. with the help of an impromptu performance of "Motel" for Violator Management's Mona Scott. Then Tweet began recording her debut album.

In November 2001, Tweet made her debut on the single's charts as a feature artist along with Ginuwine on Elliott's "Take Away", a tribute to Elliott's late friend Aaliyah. Timbaland and Magoo's "All Y'all" featuring Sebastian (Timbaland's younger brother) followed. She was described as an Aaliyah wannabe by the receptive public and to a certain extent was seen as a replacement for Aaliyah. She was also seen as a replacement for Missy's former protégé, Nicole Wray.

In March 2002, Tweet entered the charts with her debut solo single, "Oops (Oh My)", a risqué song about self-loving and female masturbation. The song was produced by Timbaland and featured guest vocals by Missy Elliott. The single hit #1 on the R&B Charts and #7 on the U.S. Pop Charts, with the help of a remix featuring Fabolous. In April 2002, Tweet released her debut album Southern Hummingbird to mostly strong reviews. The album featured production by Craig Brockman, Nisan Stewart, guitarist John "Jubu" Smith, Timbaland (who contributed four tracks) and Tweet herself. It also featured guest vocals by Elliott --"Oops (Oh My)", Bilal-- "Best Friend", BeatClub Record's Ms. Jade-- "Sexual Healing (Oops Pt. 2)" and featured a bonus track from Elliott--"Big Spender". The album was filled with soul-stirring vocals and lyrics taken from Tweet's own life experiences. The album spawned another two singles, Timbaland-produced "Call Me", and the radio single "Smoking Cigarettes", which had a video shot and directed by Little X but was never released. The album reached #3 on the Billboard album charts. That year Tweet appeared as a guest vocalist on Trina's second single from her hit album Diamond Princess. The song was called, "No Panties" and was written and produced by Missy Elliott and Nisan Stewart. Tweet also appeared on Meshell Ndegeocello's Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape, Karen Clark Sheard's 2nd Chance, Ms. Jade's Girl Interrupted, Whitney Houston's Just Whitney... and Elliott's Under Construction. Tweet appeared on four of the tracks and also made a cameo performance in both videos released from the album, "Work It" and "Gossip Folks". Tweet was nominated for a Soul Train Lady of Soul Award (among others) for Best New Artist but lost to her rival Ashanti. However, that year Tweet was awarded the Key To The City for Rochester, New York. Along with Missy Elliott, Lil' Kim, DMX, Toni Braxton, Queen Latifah, Ananda Lewis, Playa, Jamie Foxx, Lil' Mo, AJ, Free (among others), Tweet appeared in the late Aaliyah's posthumous hit single, "Miss You".

With 2003 came more guest vocals appearances: Madonna's American Life The Remixes Single, Monica's After the Storm, Mark Ronson's Here Comes the Fuzz, and Angie Stone's Stone Love on the 2004 Grammy Award-nominated song "U-Haul".

Tweet turned to acting, having a cameo appearance in the film Honey, directed by music video director Billie Woodruff and starring Jessica Alba, Mekhi Phifer, Lil' Romeo, Joy Bryant and Missy Elliott. Tweet's other acting credits include an episode of the comedy series The Parkers in 2002, in which she performed "Oops (Oh My)" and "Smoking Cigarettes". Tweet also appeared on the Honey Soundtrack on the Missy Elliott-produced "Thugman". Tweet also performed "Hypnotic" in the film, but it doesn't feature on the soundtrack.

In 2004, Tweet appeared in another of Elliott's music videos, "I'm Really Hot", off of This Is Not a Test!, but Tweet was absent from the album as a vocalist. Tweet also appeared on the posthumous unreleased Missy Elliott-produced Aaliyah track "Where Could He Be". The song did enjoy slight radio success, but has not yet been released officially. Missy Elliott made her move from Elektra Entertainment Group to Atlantic Records, taking Tweet and The Goldmind Inc. with her.

During 2003 and 2004, Tweet began recording songs for her follow-up to her Gold-certified album Southern Hummingbird which was supposed to be released in 2004, but due to the label change went back into the studio. In late 2004, Tweet joined Cee-Lo Green and Teedra Moses on the 2004 Seagram's Gin Live Tour in promotion of her new single, "Turn da Lights Off" The song was produced by Missy Elliott and Kwame, featured vocals from Elliott and contained a sample of Marvin Gaye's "If This World Were Mine" and Nat King Cole's "Lost April". While on tour, Tweet performed her old tracks, and premiered her new single and some of her newer tracks, including "My Man" and "Sports, Sex & Food".

On March 22, 2005, Tweet released her second album It's Me Again. The album featured production from Missy Elliott on seven of the tracks, Craig Brockman, Nisan Stewart, brothers Charlie Bereal and Kenny Bereal, Walter Milsap III, Kwame, The Goldmind Inc.'s Soul Diggaz, Marty Cintron III, Madball Entertainment and, Timbaland and Tweet (who both only contributed producing credits on one track each). The album featured vocals from Tweet's 15-year-old daughter, Tashawna, on "Two of Us", Rell on "Could It Be", and Missy Elliott on "Turn da Lights Off" and "Things I Don't Mean". The album also featured the hidden bonus track "When I Need a Man" (theme song from the USA Network Original Series, Kojak, starring Ving Rhames). The album peaked at #17 on the Billboard album charts and then quickly flew off the charts due to lack of promotion and mis-management from Atlantic Records. There was talk to film a second video for either "Cab Ride", which sampled "Taxi" theme song, "Angela", or "Sports, Sex & Food", but this never happened. Tweet then broke away from her manager, Mona Scott, and Violator Management, and signed with Mathew Knowles of Sanctuary Urban Records Group, who manages the careers of his daughter Beyoncé Knowles, who with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams are also known together as Destiny's Child. Tweet stills maintains a close friendship with Mona Scott and is still signed to The Goldmind Inc. Tweet also appeared on Elliott's sixth album release, The Cookbook, contributing vocals to three tracks, including the single, "Teary Eyed".

In 2006 Jheryl Busby and Mike City's new record label Umbrella Recordings, whose acts include Patti LaBelle, Carl Thomas, and a few other well-known R&B chart climbers.

Tweet's third album "Love, Tweet" is forthcoming from Umbrella Records. The album was rumored to be lead by "Anymore", later, "Real Lady" was later chosen as the album's lead single. Tweet told VH1 of a tentative single/confirmed track on the album "My Dear" featuring T.I. is not exactly what her fans would expect from her but this album is for the fans, hence the signed diary title. The track was later recorded with Ciara. The album was confirmed to be temporarily shelved after a label merge, a release date has not been set for the project.

Tweet currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

On December 2, 2006, two songs, "Whisper" and "See Ya", leaked onto a Tweet Myspace page, but were confirmed by Tweet to be songs rejected from past albums. Another song has been posted on her Myspace page called "Give It To Ya", along with a sneak peek of her next album.

A cover of "Boogie 2nite" (a song from the album Southern Hummingbird) by Booty Luv (vocalists Nadia and Cherise from UK act Big Brovaz) reached number 2 in the UK Charts on December 10, 2006, after three years of UK club success, but no official single release, of Tweet's original.

Tweet performed with Timbaland at the 4th annual VH1 Hip Hop Honors, which aired on October 8, 2007.

On April 26 and April 27, 2008,Joy Denalane, Bilal, Dwele and Tweet performed with the The Dresden Soul Symphony in Dresden, Germany. The musicians reinterpreted soul hits and combined them with classical music. An album The Dresden Soul Symphony and DVD were later released on October 24, 2008.

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Source : Wikipedia