Year: 1996
Label: Blackground/Atlantic

One in a Million is the definitive account of Aaliyah and Timbaland's collective brilliance. What else is there to say? She was just 16 and only a year removed from the allegations of a marriage to R. Kelly when the recording of the album began, but the measured tone of her voice on the title track is mature, timeless. Timbaland and Missy Elliott were the collaborators she needed; they helped her achieve the sound—chirping, staccato, muted—that so many rappers, producers, and singers pay tribute to today. "Hot Like Fire," "If Your Girl Only Knew," "Four Page Letter," "One in a Million"—these are the songs that modern R&B, rap, and EDM could not do without. This album was the beginning of something that, unfortunately, would not last. It's heartbreaking. Ross Scarano