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Wednesday, 29 August, 2001, 07:51 GMT 08:51 UK
Aaliyah's body flown home
Aaliyah billboard
A Hollywood billboard has become a memorial
The body of soul singer Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash at the weekend, has arrived in America to be buried.

The star's body was flown by private jet from the Bahamas, where she and her entourage died after filming a music video.

Patti Labelle at the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards
Labelle: "She was a special, special talent"
She will be buried at a private funeral, her family has said, although no arrangements have been announced.

Stars at an awards ceremony honouring female soul singers - for which Aaliyah was nominated in one category - paid tribute to the 22-year-old.

"She was a special, special talent and I am feeling awful about the people who were on the plane and the people who passed that day," singer Patti Labelle said as she arrived for Tuesday's Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards.

I could never find anything bad about her - she was so beautiful, inside and out

Lil' Kim
Rap star
Destiny's Child star Beyonce Knowles praised Aaliyah's good nature.

"She was one of the first celebrities we met, she was so nice, we went out, we hung out with her, and it's really sad and we're trying to be strong," she said.

Singer and actor Tyrese said: "What brings peace to my heart is that she was able to do what she loved to do."

Aaliyah's body was flown to New York on Tuesday
Aaliyah's body was flown to New York on Tuesday
Rapper Lil' Kim described the crash as "really devastating".

"I could never find anything bad about her. She was so beautiful, inside and out," she said.

Aaliyah had been nominated for best rhythm and blues, soul or rap song of the year, but the award went to Yolanda Adams.

Sales of her albums have soared after her death, retailers have said.

Trade newspaper Variety reported that both old and new fans have contributed to a rise in sales of up to ten times compared with last week.

Fans held a vigil outside Aaliyah's old Detroit high school
Fans held a vigil outside Aaliyah's old Detroit high school
"Death draws attention to somebody," Geoff Mayfield, director of charts for Billboard Magazine, told the magazine.

"Someone who was meaning to get around to buying Aaliyah's album will do so now. Then there are those people who just become curious about her because of hearing her name in the news."

Fans have been paying tribute in several American cities where the singer had links.

Hundreds of the young star's fans held a candlelit vigil near her former high school in Detroit.

Investigators are now trying to determine what caused the crash, in which a total of nine people died.

Aaliyah picked up an MTV award in 2000
Aaliyah picked up an MTV award in 2000
Reports have emerged that the plane was carrying too much baggage on take-off.

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.

The twin-engine Cessna crashed seconds after taking off from Marsh Harbour airport in the Bahamas on Saturday.

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

She began performing at age 11 when she sang with 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.

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