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Lead Performance: Aaliyah; Genre: R&B

Imagine En Vogue packed into one teenage body and backed by hip-hop svengali R. Kelly, and you have Aaliyah. Her first single from Age Ain't Nothing but a Number, ''Back & Forth,'' hit the charts like a Jeep in fifth gear, and her silky vocals are more agile than those of self-proclaimed queen of hip-hop soul Mary J. Blige. Aaliyah exudes street attitude a bit too self-consciously-nonetheless, a promising start. B+

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