Chart Performance: Pop (#6) and R&B (#2); 1994
Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne
Born in Brooklyn, Aaliyah – after a Swahili word for “most exalted” – took voice lessons, sang in school plays, and performed on television’s Star Search, all before she was ten years old. Her uncle, Barry Hankerson, got her a gig in Las Vegas singing with former wife Gladys Knight’s revue. Coincidentally, Uncle Barry was also managing R. Kelly, and he introduced Kelly to Aaliyah in 1992. Kelly began working with Aaliyah, sitting in the producer’s chair and writing many of the songs for her debut album. When Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number came out, Aaliyah was only 15, hence, the title. She immediately delivered a one-two punch with Back & Forth (#5 Pop; #1 R&B) and At Your Best (You Are Love). At Your Best, the only song not penned by R. Kelly, had been written and recorded by The Isley Brothers for their 1976 album Harvest For The World.
This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.
- R. Kelly
Lyrics Written by:
- Isley Brothers
- Chris Jasper
- R. Kelly