Music Business

15 Years Later: Aaliyah’s Legacy By The Numbers

ImagesFifteen years after her untimely death in a plane crash at the age of twenty-two, the R&B/hip-hop singer Aaliyah continues to see great popularity, racking up impressive spin counts on platforms like Pandora, and even seeing remarkable traffic across a variety of social media outlets.


Guest post by Liv Buli of Pandora’s Next Big Sound

LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Members of the audience rise upon the appearance of an image of the late singer Aaliyah, who was posthumously awarded the Soul/R&B Favorite Female Artist at the 29th Annual American Music Awards 09 January 2002 in Los Angeles. Aaliyah was kiled an airplane crash in 2001. HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images

It was 15 years ago today when a 22-year-old Aaliyah lost her life in a plane crash.

Many remember the young R&B and hip-hop artist as a true super star in the making. Despite her untimely death, she had already recorded and released three studio albums, all of which were certified double platinum in the US by the RIAA. These, as well as a slew of posthumous releases, continue to see a staggering spin rate to this day.

The artist attracts more than 800,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and has amassed close to 8 million station adds on Pandora. Just this past week, the track “One In A Million” spun about 1.3 million times on Pandora alone; she averages about 8 million spins across her entire discography each week, and has long since passed 2 billion spins in total.

And her music continues to resonate with audiences. Across the past month, Pandora listeners have given her an average of 370,000 thumbs up each week.

Aaliyah is considered an artist of epic proportion, according to music analytics provider Next Big Sound. Graphic courtesy of Next Big Sound.

While Aaliyah’s career preceded the era of social media, she has amassed a significant following also here. A topic page dedicated to the artist on Facebook has hundreds of thousands of page likes, and her official Twitter account, which counts more than 100,000 followers, also saw a 515% increase in new followers added this past week, most likely tied to the anniversary of her death. Her Wikipedia page has already seen close to a million page views this year.

Given that Aaliyah is categorized as an artist of epic proportion based on her catalogue alone, one can only imagine how popular she would have been if she had been alive today.

Originally published at on Aug 25, 2016.

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