"More Than a Woman" was released as a single in November 2001 in the United States and January 2002 in the United Kingdom. Aaliyah performed the song on Live with Regis & Kelly on July 18, 2001 and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on July 25, 2001, which was her last performance before her death. "More Than a Woman" was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in the 45th Annual Grammy Awards.
Recording and production
During the recording of the album Static was producing "More Than a Woman" and the following day he had recorded the song's first version, following this Static kept going back and listening to the song saying ‘I can do something bigger and better to it’. The next day Static rewrote the whole song, Aaliyah wasn’t present at the studio at the time when Static did the first version, so she never heard the first version.
Complex journalist Lauren Nostro said "More Than a Woman" mixes "pop, electro, and a mesmerizing mid tempo hip-hop feel, which allowed Aaliyah's delicate vocals to take the spotlight". "i-D Magazine" journalist Emily Manning praised "More Than a Woman" for "its daring blend of pop and electronic influences". According to WhoSampled, it includes an uncredited sample of Mayada El Hennawy's 1993 song "Alouli Ansa".
Release and reception
Having invested in the commercial performance of Aaliyah's self-titled third album, Blackground Records and Virgin Records wanted a single with a high chart placement to help increase the album's sales. Its lead single "We Need a Resolution" had been released on April 13, but underperformed on radio and only reached number fifty-nine on the Billboard Hot 100. In August, Aaliyah shot a music video for "More Than a Woman" in Los Angeles and then travelled to the Bahamas to shoot a video for "Rock the Boat". But after its completion, she and several crew members who were returning to the United States died in a plane crash on August 25. Blackground executives were uncertain when they would release the album's next single and video.
In the United States, "More Than a Woman" entered at number seventy one on the Billboard Hot 100, dated issue February 2, 2002. and peaked at number twenty-five in its ninth week. The song stayed in the chart for twenty-four weeks. The song ranked fifty-eighth on the 2002 year-end chart.
In the United Kingdom, the song entered and peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart on January 13, 2002 ― for the week ending date January 19, 2002 ― selling 32,081 copies for that week. It became the first time that a posthumous release has taken over from another posthumous release in Britain when the song was replaced by George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord", and the first time that a woman has had a posthumous number one single in that country. All together, the single has sold 347,563 copies in the United Kingdom. Elsewhere in Europe, the song reached the top twenty in Belgium, Ireland and Switzerland.
The music video for "More Than a Woman" was directed by Dave Meyers and filmed in Los Angeles, California in early August 2001 before the video shoot for "Rock the Boat". The video starts with a shot of West 4th Street in Los Angeles, looking towards the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Aaliyah riding a 2001 model Triumph Speed Triple in the wrong direction when the camera zooms inside the exhaust pipe and shows Aaliyah dancing in a white Chanel catsuit with other female dancers between the pistons. Between cuts she is riding the motorcycle and doing wheelies and in another scene standing in front of a headlight with her back against the camera. Later in the video, Aaliyah is dancing with co-ed dancers, wearing leather pants, gloves, and boots, and a black tank-top. At the end, a silhouette of Aaliyah on her motorcycle wearing Dainese Gear is placed in front of sunset with the words "In Loving Memory of Aaliyah" above. British music producer Mark Ronson appears in the video as a DJ, along with then girlfriend Rashida Jones and her sister, Kidada.
The video premiered on January 7, 2002 and landed on top of BET's 106 & Park countdown right after "Rock The Boat'" was retired from the countdown. In Germany, the music video ranked several times at number one on the interactive voting show Select MTV on MTV. "More Than a Woman" also landed at number 11 on BET: Notarized Top 100 Videos of 2002. It was voted by the British public as "Best Video" and received an award at the 2002 UK MOBO Awards.
Formats and track listings
International CD single
European CD single
Australian CD single
"Gotta Get Thru This" by Daniel Bedingfield
|UK Singles Chart number one single|
January 13, 2002 – January 19, 2002
"My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison