One in a Million (Aaliyah song)

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"One in a Million"
Aaliyah - One in a Million single.jpg
Single by Aaliyah
from the album One in a Million
Released December 10, 1996 (1996-12-10)
Format CD single, 12" single, cassette
Recorded 1996[1]
Pyramid Studios
(Ithaca, New York)
Length 4:30
Label Blackground, Atlantic
Writer(s) Melissa Elliott, Tim Mosley
Producer(s) Timbaland
Aaliyah singles chronology
"If Your Girl Only Knew"
"One in a Million"
"4 Page Letter"

"One in a Million" is a song by American singer Aaliyah from her second studio album of the same name (1996). The song was the third main single from One in a Million following "Got to Give It Up", but in North America the song was the second single, because "Got to Give It Up" was not released until 1998 in the US.


"One in a Million" is a R&B song written by Missy Elliott and Timbaland, who also produced the song.

An R&B slow jam, "One in a Million" was considered quite atypical and innovative at the time of its release. The song was the first major display of Timbaland's early drum-skitter-style of programming, with its rambunctious influence owing dues to the then burgeoning drum-n-bass movement in Europe. This frantic drum programming juxtaposed against the rather tranquil manner of the vocal arrangement and the remaining instrumentation was, then, immediately distinguishable from most mainstream R&B/pop. Though Timbaland, Missy Elliott and Aaliyah had been previously at work in the industry for some time, the song was a breakthrough moment for them. "One in a Million" was recorded at Pyramid Studios in Ithaca, New York.

Chart performance[edit]

The song became a US hit on the Billboard R&B charts, reaching number one on the R&B Airplay Chart for six weeks; it also became a US airplay hit based on its R&B and Rhythmic airplay, propelling the song to peak within the top thirty of the Hot 100 Airplay Chart at number twenty-five. It was also a top twenty hit in the UK, reaching number fifteen as part of a double A-side with the re-release of "If Your Girl Only Knew".

Music video[edit]

The music video for "One in a Million" was directed by Paul Hunter in the autumn of 1996. An extended version of the video was used for the remix which features Ginuwine, Timbaland, and Missy Elliott in 1997. The video starts with Aaliyah lying on top of a black Ford Mustang with Missy Elliott and Timbaland sitting inside of it. Soon, several reporters and fans rush to the car. Then the scene switches to a dark room where Aaliyah is sitting as Ginuwine approaches her. The scene bears a striking resemblance to the set of 12 Monkeys. In another scene she is watching him in an off white-colored room via security camera. The scene shifts to a completely white room where Aaliyah is dancing with another male and then to the scene where Ginuwine is looking at the security camera. In the latter scene, Aaliyah enters the room and reveals a tattoo of her name on Ginuwine's arm. Once again, the scene goes back to the dark room, but this time Aaliyah is standing up and performing in a white bodysuit. The video ends with Aaliyah riding in a motorcycle with eighteen-year-old DEALZ, son of Jackie Jackson.

Other cover versions and interpolations[edit]

In 2010, singer/songwriter The-Dream recorded a cover of the song and R&B artist Omarion covered the song for his mixtape as a tribute to Aaliyah. Also, Canadian singer/songwriter Keshia Chante who was once set to play as Aaliyah in her biopic movie, did a cover of the song for the late singer's 10 year anniversary as a tribute.

On August 25, 2012, hip hop artist Blizzy Ballard and former Aaliyah collaborator Smoke E. Digglera, lead singer of R&B group Playa, released a tribute cover of the song. Later that year Danny! incorporated the drum pattern, as well as the chirping crickets and ad-libs from Elliott, into his song "Far Away" as homage to both the late singer and the production duo of Elliott and Mosley.

It is sampled on Iggy Azalea's "Backseat Trill $hit".

R&B and hip hop artist Tink released a song titled "Million" that samples the song with production done by Timbaland for her upcoming debut album titled, Think Tink. The song was released on May 11, 2015. The music video was released on July 1, 2015 and was directed by Benny Boom.[2]

Track listing[edit]

UK promo 12" remixes single
  1. "One in a Million" (Darkchild remix) – 4:40
  2. "One in a Million" (Darkchild remix instrumental) – 4:13
  3. "One in a Million" (Timbaland remix) featuring Ginuwine – 5:06
  4. "One in a Million" (Wolf-D'd Big Bass mix) – 4:26
  5. "One in a Million" (Armand's Drum 'N' Bass mix) – 7:12
US promo 12" remixes single
  1. "One in a Million" (Timbaland remix) – 5:07
  2. "One in a Million" (Timbaland remix instrumental)– 4:40
  3. "One in a Million" (Timbaland remix) featuring Ginuwine – 5:07
  4. "One in a Million" (Darkchild remix) – 4:40
US promo CD single
  1. "One in a Million" (album version) – 4:30
  2. "One in a Million" (instrumental) – 4:30
  3. "One in a Million" (a cappella) – 4:30


Chart (1997) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[3] 69
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 11
UK Singles Chart 15
US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay[4] 25
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play[5] 2
US Billboard Rhythmic Top 40[6] 2
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay[7] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Position
US Billboard Top R&B Airplay[8] 10


  1. ^ "One in a million, and 2 other selections". Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Video: Tink – Million - - Hot New R&B Music, Videos, News". Retrieved 18 March 2017. 
  3. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 13 Jul 1997". ARIA. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  4. ^ "Chart Data". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2007-11-18. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  5. ^ "AMG: Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-04-29. 
  6. ^ "Aaliyah - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  7. ^ "AMG: Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-09-12. [dead link]
  8. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. "Billboard (1997-12-27 – 1998-01-03)". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 

External links[edit]