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Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah  By  cover art

Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah

By: Kathy Iandoli
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin,Kathy Iandoli
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Publisher's summary

In a definitive and “excellent homage to a star who left this planet too soon” (Questlove), the life, career, tragic death, and evolution of Aaliyah into a music legend are explored - featuring in-depth research and exclusive interviews.

By 22 years old, Aaliyah had already accomplished a staggering amount: hit records, acclaimed acting roles, and fame that was just about to cross over into superstardom. Like her song, she was already “more than a woman” but her shocking death in a plane crash prevented her from fully growing into one.

Now, two decades later, the full story of Aaliyah’s life and cultural impact is finally and lovingly revealed. Baby Girl features never-before-told stories, including studio anecdotes, personal tales, and eyewitness accounts on the events leading up to her untimely passing. Her enduring influence on today’s artists - such as Rihanna, Drake, Normani, and many more - is also celebrated, providing Aaliyah’s discography a cultural critique that is long overdue.

“There’s no better way to pay your respect to R&B’s true angel than to lose yourself in the pages” (Kim Osorio, journalist and author of Straight from the Source) of this “dazzling biography” (Publishers Weekly) that is as unforgettable as its subject. 

This book was written without the participation of Aaliyah’s family/estate.

©2021 Katherine Iandoli. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Nothing new

Everything in this book has already been discussed. It reads like the Wikipedia page on Aaliyah.

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6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Very Misleading, very disappointing

I expected this to be a book about Aaliyah’s life story, instead it seems to focus more on R Kelly and his sex scandal. Aaliyah was so much more than what is captured in this author’s account. If you’re a true Aaliyah fan save your money, wish I had.

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3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disrespectful

I’m sorry but spending the entire first 2.5 hours of the book talking about R Kelly is a disrespect to the memory of all things Aaliyah. I understand you must discuss this part of her life but to devote 1/3 of the book to it? Not necessary. I would have loved to learn more about other parts of her life.

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3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Beware!!

Beware the voice you hear in the sample is not the voice reading the story, only the introduction. I wish I had known that so I could have bought the ebook instead. The lady who reads the actual story is PAINFUL to listen to. She sounds exactly like a female automated voice. I actually wonder if it is one, she mispronounced alot of things, such as, Christina Aguilera & is extremely monotone and dull..listening is painful. I will probably buy the ebook anyway I doubt I can listen to this anymore, even when I am listening I cant pay attention to this broad.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Offers no real insight

I was so excited when I heard there was going to be a new biography on the life of the legendary Aaliyah and I so looked forward to reading this book. Despite Aaliyah’s family not participating nor any close friends the book promised to be a telling account of the all too short life of Aaliyah. Sadly the reader doesn’t get much insight into who Aaliyah was and how she felt abt the things she endured, achieved and overcame. The book is basically a copy plaster job of everything we already know abt her.
I’m hoping someday Aaliyah’s family will have the strength to tell her story because it certainly deserves to be told by them.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love the storyline

Pros: I’m glad we finally got a glimpse into Aaliyah’s rise to fame. I LOVE her music always, and can’t wait until her music is available to stream.

Cons: I HATE the tone of how the book started, and made the intro about Kels. I’m really glad the author didn’t narrate this book. I would’ve had to just read the hardback copy instead.

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Disappointed

Can I just say it dragged on. The beginning focused on Kelly.. The rest of the book I felt like I was listening to it on repeat I don’t know how many time I kept hearing her repeat stories from things she covered in the beginning

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Lots of filler

There was a lot of filler in the book. things to pad out what was. unfortunately, a too short life to begin with. About midway through the R. Kelly stuff (which I feel wasn't needed) and up to her death, I liked it. However, before and after seemed like padding. This could've been a long article or essay instead of a book. Also, I'm sorry, but the voice was very monotonous. Not expressive at all, almost robotic at times. I would've rather the author read it all as she did at the start.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Awful narrator & overly gushing biography

Narrator can't pronounce artist's names. I love Aaliyah but it's more Stan blog than biography.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great From Beginning to End

I can say I remember where I was when I heard of this Beautiful young Ladies death. This book was well read and explained ALOT. I recommend anyone to listen/read this book. Rest In Peace Baby Girl!!!

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  • josephmiller
  • 08-19-21

You’d be better off reading her Wikipedia.

I just finished the book and I’ll give it 2 stars…. I wanted to enjoy it. Honestly, I was looking forward to it. I’m a huge Aaliyah fan.
More and more towards the release date of the book, the writer just gave me a bad vibe. Snakey, desperate, untrustworthy, annoying. This seems like such a cash grab because she knows Aaliyah fans are so starved for content and product. The book is full of information fans already know. And as for the general public, I don’t think they’ll really care about most of it.
As much as Aaliyah is an inspiration to us all and an icon, she was private and reserved. She didn’t let us in and that’s how she liked it. That’s why she was so attracting. She was elusive and mysterious. So, we can only really go by what let us know about. Which wasn’t much at all. Because of this, the book relies heavily on telling the stories of others. R Kelly, Barry Hankerson, Timbaland etc. It seems like a desperate attempt to fill pages. Not to mention the pages and pages of letters from fans. I don’t need 15 year olds telling me how much they miss someone when they weren’t even alive to actually know who she was. It’s dumb. I know many find Aaliyah at different times and she touches people to this day, but it just seemed like a bunch of kids heard they could be in a book so they wrote something really quick in the hopes of seeing their names in print..
Then three chapters talking about photographs. Photographs that aren’t in the effing book Kath! More page filling. The hardcore fans will know the photos she’s referencing but the general public don’t have a clue and you haven’t given them a reference because you obviously can’t afford the rights to the photos. In fact there is only one page in the entire book with pictures. A contact sheet.
Then there’s the long mention of online fan accounts and websites. Obviously a great source for someone who is writing a book, I get it. A quick shout out would have been nice but more page filling occurs with the writer feeling the need to list about ten accounts with information of who runs them, why they started the account/site, and where they come from. Why not give us their hair and eye colour while you’re at it.
I give two stars because I did like reading about the making of the last album(Even though she referenced songs that were only added as bonus tracks three years later so not actual songs from the album).
I liked reading about the politics of it all and the tension with the label and production.
I liked reading about her relationship with static.
I also liked being reminded of the fan forums and Aaliyahs online interaction with her fans via her website. Those were times I cherish.
That’s about it.
It seems obvious that her editors were pushing her, or maybe she was just desperate herself, to find something scandalous about the plane crash. Saying she was drugged. Funnily enough this excerpt leaked to the press two weeks before the books release.. feels very “if you can’t give them something new, make something up”. When there was backlash to this from fans, she posted that there would actually be several viewpoints on what could have happened and that this wasn’t the only version of events she went with. But that was a lie. She’s taken the story as fact and gave no alternative.
Like I said, I was looking forward to this. It was plugged as something that was “from a fan, to the fans” but honestly it doesn’t really seem like she was that big of a fan. The story was told without any heart or real affection.
Now I just wonder what she’s going to do with the money she makes from the book. She’s profiting off of someone’s death. And the book is obviously going to be moderately successful if pre-orders are much to go by. It just doesn’t sit right with me. A portion of the proceeds should go to the memorial fund. If she is that big of a fan. But judging by her Instagram posts, she’s only a big fan of herself.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-12-21

Disappointed to say the least

Would not recommend this book. For a fan to read, was highly disappointed in this book

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