Aaliyah Private Photo Shoot for Get Paid in the Escalade

Aaliyah in 2001, photo by Prphotos.com

Birth Name: Aaliyah Dana Haughton

Date of Birth: January 16, 1979

Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Death: August 25, 2001

Place of Death: Marsh Harbour, Abaco Islands, Bahamas

Ethnicity: African-Jamaican, African-American, possibly some Native American

Aaliyah was an American R&B singer, actress, dancer, and model. She starred in the films Romeo Must Die and Queen of the Damned. She was also known as Baby Girl.

Her parents, Diane (Hankerson) and Michael Haughton, are both black. The name Aaliyah is from the word Aliyah, which is of Hebrew origin, meaning “highest, most exalted one, the best.” Her uncle is record producer and music manager Barry Hankerson, who founded Blackground Records, and was previously married to singer Gladys Knight. Aaliyah’s brother is writer, director, and screenwriter Rashad Haughton. She was said to be a cousin of Tek-N-Steele, of hip hop duo Smif-N-Wessun. Aaliyah was killed in a private plane crash.

Aaliyah had stated:

When I wake up in the morning I am African-American, and when I go to sleep at night I am African-American, and I can assure you I love who I am…

Her father is of African-Jamaican descent and her mother is of African-American ancestry.

Aaliyah has sometimes been cited as having a Native American grandmother, or as having a grandmother with some Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented. A photo of her maternal grandmother Mintis can be seen here.

Aaliyah’s paternal grandfather was Franklin Gresley Reid Haughton (the son of Solomon Ehud Haughton and Lilia Margaret Bell). Franklin was a Jamaican emigrant, from Darliston, Westmoreland. Solomon was the son of Robert Samuel Haughton and Judith Richardson. Lilia was the daughter of Joseph Zebulon Bell and Ester Jemima Walker.

Aaliyah’s paternal grandmother was Gladys Lucille Burton (the daughter of Joseph Francis Cato Burton and Adella Adelaide Allen). Gladys was a Jamaican emigrant, from Bagnold Spring, Saint Mary. Joseph was the son of Francis Cato Burton. Adella was the daughter of Henry Staines Allen and Esther Adelaide Anderson. A picture of Gladys can be seen here.

Aaliyah’s maternal grandfather was Ernest W. Hankerson (the son of Waddy/Woddie Myers and Susie Hankerson). Ernest was born in Bullock, Georgia. Waddy was the son of Henry Myers and Andenia/Hannah/Anna Hankerson. Susie was the daughter of Henry Hankerson and Rachel Peeples.

Aaliyah’s maternal grandmother was Mintis L. Hicks (who possibly was the daughter of Daniel Hicks and Anna Scott). Mintis was born in Barnwell, South Carolina. Anna was the daughter of Sam Scott and Millie.

Sources: Genealogies of Aaliyah – https://www.geni.com


Curious about ethnicity

314 Responses

  1. ethnogenesis says:

    Did I heard somewhere that Aaliyah was of Haudenosaunee descent? I heard of Aaliyah is of European Jewish background, hence the name Aaliyah reminds me of the Hebrew word “Aliyah” meaning “to return” to the Holy Land where Israel is located. Ethnicelebs like wikipedia has holes to fill in when we cover or detail many celebrities’ ethnocultural heritage to be complete, factual and accurate.

  2. andrew says:

    Isn’t enough to ban this person?

  3. jiveturkey says:

    Aaliyah didn’t look biracial at all. She was black and was trying to be anything other than what she was. RIP Princess. She’ll forever be remembered as young and beautiful

    • ashash says:

      Any African-American who comes out as less than 80% African now has to identify as mixed. Aaliyah was most probably in that group.

      She was a black woman and didn’t identify as anything else when she was alive, but now we will remember her as a mixed-race woman.

      • fuzzybear44 says:


        Well you just knocked out most of the black people in the u.s.a.

        • andrew says:


          No offence but she looked mixed-race.

          • fuzzybear44 says:


            No Offence taken,We argue all the time about this stuff. . Anyhow she Is mixed , just in a multi generation way. As I said before, most of the people I know would look mixed race to others

          • Amy says:

            Idiot, african-americans are people of mainly african ancestry and lesser european and native American ancestry, aaliyah was black on both of her parents side and native on her mother’s side, she is african-american by definition.

        • ashash says:

          I was being sarcastic.
          In her own words:


          “When I wake up in the morning I am African-American, and when I go to sleep at night I am African-American, and I can assure you I love who I am!”

          Aaliyah was half African-American and half African-Jamaican. It’s her African-American side that is in question, but all African-Americans were/are Black in this country whatever their percentages are. 58% are 80% and above. 42% are below 80% and 22% are below 70%. Only 1% are below 50%. These are statistics according to scholars. Aaliyah was probably anywhere from 65%-75% if I had to guess. Here is her mother’s brother Barry Hankerson:


          Aaliyah’s mother and uncle seem over 50% to me. Mintis was probably married to a man much darker than she was.

          Andrew is Italian and a white man weirdly obsessed with African-Americans. Why care what his perspective is on a people, history, and lineage that is not his own?

          • fuzzybear44 says:


            understood , my fault

          • andrew says:


            I am not “obsessed” with African-Americans. I just think that they dont look at all like West Africans.

          • Oaken05 says:

            Yeah, quite frankly, I’m getting tired that so many here are so obsessed with what we call ourselves, and also the constant potshots are Americans in general, on here. It’s weird and offensive.

      • 2late2poligize says:

        I am 69% African and have dark skin, very kinky hair, full lips, and wide nostrils. Race has more to do with simply ethnic percentages. I am not mixed. I am black, and all I could be seen as is black. Although, I’m only 69% I don’t feel comfortable calling myself mixed. I feel like in America, most people only refer to themselves as mixed if they have two parents of different races, like a black father and a white mother. So even though almost no African American is 100% African, we don’t identify as mixed unless we have interracial parents.

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