EW Staff
June 29, 2001 AT 04:00 AM EDT

IT CHANTEUSE AALIYAH

AGE 22 WHY HER? In the upcoming Queen of the Damned, the singer-actress plays a bloodthirsty vampiress out to rule the earth. In real life, Aaliyah (born Aaliyah Dana Haughton) has already conquered the entertainment world: The Brooklyn-born, Detroit-reared star became a pop-music sensation at 15, earned a Grammy nod in 1999 for the song ”Are You That Somebody?” from the Dr. Dolittle soundtrack, and made her big-screen acting debut in 2000’s Romeo Must Die — paving the way for both Damned and a role in the upcoming Matrix sequels. MANIFESTO ”I’m an interpreter of other people’s words. You write a song, I’ll bring it to life; you give me a script, I’ll bring that to life.” LUCKY CHARMS ”I bring my pillow with me everywhere — its name is Wilson. I also have a toy orangutan that my grandmother gave to me. She was in a scene in Romeo Must Die.” FIRST SINGLE SHE BOUGHT ”Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club. ”I played it every day.” DREAM COLLABORATORS ”I’d jump at the chance to sing with Sade. And I’d love to work with Morgan Freeman and Gwyneth Paltrow.” NEXT Her self-titled album, her first in five years, due July 17. ”I’m attached to a remake of Sparkle that Whitney Houston’s company wants to do; it’s still in development. And I’m interested in doing Some Kind of Blue, about a jazz musician’s daughter who falls in love with a white guy at a time when that wasn’t accepted.”

IT ALT-ROCK COMEBACK Evan Dando

AGE 34 WHY HIM? As frontman for the Boston-based Lemonheads (the band behind the alt-rock hit ”Into Your Arms,” which played in a recent FTD ad), the beatific slacker had a rep for melodic, eccentric pop and breaking hearts. Four years after dropping out, the singer-songwriter is quietly selling out solo shows. WHAT HE DID WRONG THE FIRST TIME ”Missing gigs, getting way too high, not respecting my audience.” INFLUENCES The Stooges, Velvet Underground, Flamin’ Groovies, and especially Black Sabbath: ”I liked their humor and irreverence — the sheer, satisfying simplicity of the music.” CAREER HIGH ”Singing with Rick James — definitely a high point.” NEXT Working with producer-songwriter Jon Brion.

IT AGITATOR Henry H. Owings

AGE 32 WHY HIM? His eight-year-old Athens, Ga.-based ‘zine Chunklet — combining music-geek obsessiveness with incisive satire — irked all the right people with 2000’s ”100 Biggest A**holes in Rock” issue. INFLUENCES ”The triumvirate of rock critics: Nick Tosches, Lester Bangs, and Richard Meltzer.” DREAM COLLABORATOR Andy Earles, editor of Cimmaron Weekend: ”Both of us have complete disdain for all of the subpar, careerist fanzines in America.” ULTIMATE AMBITION ”To sell out and be unbelievably famous.” CLOSEST BRUSH WITH CAREER IMMOLATION ”Becoming friends with musicians. It’s the kiss of death.” NEXT This summer’s Chunklet #16 — ”The Sh*tty Issue.”

IT R&B QUEEN Jill Scott

AGE 29 WHY HER? The homespun Scott’s debut, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol.1, went platinum and earned three Grammy nods without the usual bootylicious makeover. She’s an Aretha for the new millennium. SO, WHO IS JILL SCOTT? ”A chef. I make food for myself, and hopefully the people who come to dine with me enjoy it as well.” CAREER HIGH Singing at the 2001 Grammys with Moby and the Blue Man Group. ”I got to show I can collaborate with anybody.” ULTIMATE AMBITION ”To [open] a creative and performing arts school.” IF SHE WEREN’T SINGING, SHE’D…”Be writing. If I wasn’t writing I’d be acting. If I wasn’t acting I’d be teaching — then I’d have an ice cream parlor.” WORST ADVICE ”Follow. [That] doesn’t make you an artist, it makes you a mimic.” NEXT Working on her follow-up, Brown Baby Lullaby.

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