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Sunday, 26 August, 2001, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
R&B's Aaliyah dies in plane crash
Aaliyah with Hong Kong actor Jet Li at the premiere of their film in March 2000
Aaliyah made her movie debut last year
Grammy-nominated R&B singer Aaliyah was among nine people killed when their plane crashed and burst into flames shortly after taking off in the Bahamas on Saturday night.

Bahamas police said six of those on board, including Aaliyah, had died instantly, while three others died shortly afterwards due their injuries.

She was like one of my daughters, she was one of the sweetest girls in the world

Quincy Jones
The 22-year-old singer, whose full name was Aaliyah Haughton, was returning to the US after filming a music video in the Abaco islands, about 270km (170 miles) from Florida.

Aaliyah's song Try Again earned her a Grammy nomination for best female R&B vocalist, and last year she made her film acting debut in Romeo Must Die.

Born in 1979 in New York, Aaliyah was raised in Detroit.

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She began performing at age 11 when she sang with Gladys Knight, and her first album Age Ain't Nothing But A Number came out when she was 15 - and sold millions.

Grammy-winning producer and composer Quincy Jones, who knew Aaliyah well, said he was devastated by the news of the death.

"She was like one of my daughters, she was one of the sweetest girls in the world, " he told the Associated Press news agency.

Aaliyah's acting debut in Romeo Must Die also starred Chinese martial arts actor Jet Li.

The wreckage of the aircraft in which nine died
Engine failure is suspected for the crash
She had signed to appear in a sequel to The Matrix.

The BBC's Radio 1 R&B expert Derren Lawford said Aaliyah was about to become a huge star worldwide.

"She always stood out, had a great voice and definitely had a big future in music and films," he said.

Superintendent Basil Rahming of Grand Bahama police department told Reuters news agency that the twin-engined propeller plane apparently suffered engine failure on take-off.

It crashed into bushes off the end of the runway at Marsh Habour on Abaco Island, about 160km (96 miles) north of Nassau.

The plane, which was bound for Opa-locka airport in Miami, was owned by a Florida-based company Skystream, said Kathleen Bergen, spokeswoman for the US Federal Aviation Administration in Atlanta.

Police have named the other victims as: Scott Gallin, 41; Keith Wallace, 49, of Los Angeles; Douglas Kratz, 28, a representative of Virgin records, and make-up artist Eric Foreman, 29, both from Hollywood; Gina Smith,29, of New Jersey; and Christopher Maldonado,32, of New York.

The plane's pilot, identified as L Marael, was also killed.

One passenger who surivived the crash, but died later in hospital was named as 34-year-old Anthony Dodd, 34, of Los Angeles.

The BBC's Mark Percy
"The R&B sensation will be mourned by millions of fans"
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