Forget, for only this instance, what your mother told you about staring. Gaze into the eyes on this page. Hold, hold, hold. Stop. Chances are you've been hypnotized by the beauty of Brooklyn-born Aliya Dana Haughton. She did this to many. Her power: an understated beauty that was equally overpowering in baggy Tommy Hilfiger jeans or leopard print bikinis accented with yellow and cream snakes. Sometimes, it appeared as if she was ashamed of her secret sexy—hiding her left eye behind her hair; rockin' the baggy garb till the proverbial fashion wheels fell off. Still, she was seen. Seen by Hollywood. So much so, this black beauty was given a lead role in a $35 million film that boasted a Caucasian love interest before interracial pairings became typical in Tinseltown (Queen of the Damned). Though she had tasted multiplatinum props with Age Ain't Nothing But a Number and the self-titled Aaliyah, this, in retrospect, would have been her transition moment. The point where both urban and mainstream pop culture vultures got familiar. Dinner-conversation familiar. She was en route. Seven years have passed. Time flies. —Jermaine Hall