Legendary soul singer Gladys Knight—best known for various hits with her group the Pips—is Aaliyah’s aunt through her marriage to Aaliyah’s uncle, Barry Hankerson. Knight and Hankerson married five years before Aaliyah was born in 1974.

Hankerson played a major role in Aaliyah’s success as he managed her throughout her career. Knight also helped Aaliyah rise to prominence by allowing the young singer to perform with her during a five-night stint in Las Vegas when Aaliyah was just 11-years-old.