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Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 09:28 GMT 10:28 UK
A vigil for Aaliyah
Aaliyah
Aaliyah picked up an MTV award in 2000
Fans of R&B singer Aaliyah, who died in an airplane crash on Saturday, have met to remember her in a candlelight vigil.

Hundreds gathered on Monday near her former high school in Detroit to listen to Aaliyah's music and express their sadness.

The cause of the crash is being investigated by police, but reports are emerging that the plane was carrying too much baggage.

Two local newspapers, The Tribune and The Freeport News, quoted an unnamed baggage handler as saying he had warned the pilot the aircraft was too heavy for a safe takeoff.

Andre Charles
Spray paint artist Andre Charles created a Manhattan tribute mural
Gloria Knoles, an office manager for local airline Abaco Air, also said she saw a pickup truck on Saturday headed toward the plane with luggage that towered above the truck's edges.

But Aaliyah's fans were focusing on remembering the singer.

"She was such a role model to teenage girls," said 15-year-old Marisha Lane, adding that she admired Aaliyah's positive attitude and generous spirit.

The 22-year-old singer and eight others were killed when their small plane went down after it took off from the Bahamas where she was shooting a music video.

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

Investigators are examining the wreckage of the twin-engined Cessna which crashed into scrubland and burst into flames after taking off from Marsh Harbour airport, bound for Miami.

Police said that the aircraft had apparently experienced engine trouble.

Aaliyah had attended the Detroit High School of Fine and Performing Arts, where fans wrote messages to her on posters and cards.

Shanika Richey and Tanisha Williams
Fans mourned in Detroit: Tanisha Williams, 10, and Shanika Richey
Some held pictures of Aaliyah; others brought flowers, stuffed animals and balloons.

"I just felt like I needed to be a part of this. To cry together, to remember together and to sing together," Demetrice Greene-Luckey, 27, said, wiping her eyes.

"It hurts even for a lot of people that don't know her personally, because we can relate to her and we admire her spirit."

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

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 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.

Rapper DMX, who also had a role in Romeo Must Die, described her as: "Talented, classy, warm, beautiful, compassionate (and) humble."

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


Aaliyah's talents

Fans pay respects

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