aaliyah trl
photo: Getty Images

R&B just isn't what it used to be now that singer and actress Aaliyah Haughton has passed. Only 22 at the time of her death, last year marked 18 years since she passed away. She would have just turned 40 last week. Since Aaliyah entered our hearts and played on our CD players, many artists have tried to emulate her style and flow. But not everyone gets it right. Here are 14 artists who really give off those Aaliyah vibes. 


SZA certainly has less of a filter on her mouth than Aaliyah did, but the raw talent and uniqueness of SZA's voice is unmatched. She, like Aaliyah, makes us want to slow down sometimes and get lost in the music. 

Ella Mai

She's recently hit the mainstream music scene, but Ella Mai has taken our hearts just like Aaliyah. Their songs about love and heartbreak have a similar sound that transcends time and age groups. 


Fifth Harmony is technically still together, but each of the girls is breaking out into their own music. Normani has said that Aaliyah is an inspiration in her music and it shows. She wants her first solo album to be "’90s R&B dream with a modern twist" and to show others why she fell in love with the music in the first place.

Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland has really come into her own since Destiny's Child's breakup. She has a smooth sex appeal to her music that captivates. And those glances at the camera in the "Motivation" video? That has to bring you back to "Are You That Somebody?"

Summer Walker

Her name might not jump out at you. She's fairly new, but don't sleep on her — the emotion in her voice is raw. She and Aaliyah were both looking for that real kind of love. 


Listen to "Million" by Tink and you'll know what we mean: Tink sampled Aaliyah's "One In A Million" in that song and put her own flow and spin on it. You can hear how Aaliyah was an influence on her music. 


The soft but strong voice, the dance moves. There is certainly some Aaliyah in Tinashe's music. Tinashe is a strong dancer, and these routines certainly look like something Aaliyah would make her own. 

Jhené Aiko

Aiko had to be on this list. She has a soulful sound that was all over Aaliyah's I Care 4 U album. Aaliyah may never have been known for drinking and smoking, but their music shows how strongly they emphasize their emotions in their music. 

Sevyn Streeter

An Aaliyah and Sevyn Streeter collaboration is something that needs to happen. Streeter has referenced Aaliyah and her music, and her music video for "It Won't Stop" is such a throwback to "Rock the Boat."

Chloe x Halle

This duo is a powerhouse. The way their voices melt together is so unique, and they've always had a range to their sound similar to Aaliyah's voice. 


H.E.R. makes us think of that real, open, and honest R&B from the ’90s. That "I can't believe you would play me like this but I love you and don't know how to move now" type love. She takes us back and puts us in that Aaliyah mood.

Victoria Monét

Victoria feels like what it would be like if Aaliyah and Janet Jackson had a music baby. Her upbeat, relaxed vibe is one that fans of Aaliyah would appreciate. 

Mila J

Yes, she and Jhené are sisters, but they relate to Aaliyah in completely different ways. Mila gives us more of a "Try Again" Aaliyah that shows the edgier side to both artists. 


Solange Knowles has a sweet, high pitch to her voice that takes us back. Her melodies transform her music into something that could even inspire Aaliyah.