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Monday, 27 August, 2001, 02:01 GMT 03:01 UK
R&B star crash inquiry
The plane came down in swampy scrubland
Investigators in the Bahamas have begun examining the wreckage of the aircraft that crashed on Saturday killing the Grammy-nominated R&B singer, Aaliyah, and eight others.

Aaliyah's family is devastated at the loss of their loving daughter and sister

Statement from Aaliyah's family
The twin-engined Cessna plane crashed into swampy scrubland and burst into flames soon after taking off from Marsh Harbour airport, bound for Miami.

Police said that the aircraft had apparently experienced engine trouble.

"The investigation is ongoing," an officer at Marsh Harbour, some 160km (96 miles) north of Nassau, said.


Fans, family and friends of the 22-year-old singer, whose full name was Aaliyah Haughton, were trying to come terms with their loss.

A statement issued through the singer's public relations firm, PMK, said: "Aaliyah's family is devastated at the loss of their loving daughter and sister. Their hearts go out to those families who also lost their loved ones in this tragic accident."

Tributes are pouring in for the singer
Grammy-winning producer and composer Quincy Jones, who knew Aaliyah well, said he was also 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.

In Detroit and South Florida, radio stations were playing Aaliyah's music as tributes poured in from anguished fans.

Click here to send us your views on Aaliyah's life and work.

Huge star

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.

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

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.


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