Home Articles & Editorials The true story of R Kelly and Aaliyah – How they met...

The true story of R Kelly and Aaliyah – How they met when she was just 12; their secret teenage marriage, pregnancy rumours & more (Photos)

R Kelly and Aaliyah
R Kelly and Aaliyah

R Kelly and Aaliyah provided one of the biggest shocks of showbiz when they famously tied the knot while Aaliyah was just 15-years-old. Here, we take a look back at their relationship – from meeting when Aaliyah was just 12 to their secret marriage to those baby rumours. Their union ended in 1995 and just six years later, Aaliyah tragically died on August 25 2001 in a plane crash in the Bahamas at the age of 22.


R Kelly and Aaliyah
Aaliyah during Aaliyah at The Forum at The Forum in Inglewood, California, United States. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)

They met when Aaliyah was just 12-years-old – Kelly was 24. She was the niece of his manager, Barry Hankerson, who introduced the pair, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.

Hankerson was a big deal on the music scene, having managed the likes of Gladys Knight and Toni Braxton, and Aaliyah was quickly drawn into Kelly’s world and a romance began.

Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number

Kelly was a huge influence on Aaliyah’s early career as they spent more time together and, coincidentally, Aaliyah’s debut solo album Age Ain’t Nothing but A Number was written and produced by Kelly, recorded at the Chicago Recording Company in Illinois in 1993.

R Kelly and Aaliyah
R Kelly and Aaliyah


Aaliyah’s album was released on was released on May 24th 1994 and went on to make hit singles out of the title track and Back & Forth.

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