STARS AND FANS PAY TRIBUTE TO AALIYAH

Following the star's death in a plane crash, it's emerged that accident investigators in the Bahamas have called on US authorities for help in establishing what happened...

As stars and fans alike continue to mourn the death of young R&B star AALIYAH , who died in a plane crash on Saturday (August 25), it has emerged that accident investigators in the Bahamas have called on US authorities for help in establishing what happened.

A four-person team, consisting of a representative from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Aviation Administration, Cessna Aircraft Company and Continental Motors, the engine manufacturer, will travel to the island of Abaco to find out just what brought the Cessna aircraft down. A spokesperson for the NTSB told CNN that such an approach was “not uncommon” when a US-built aircraft was involved.

Aaliyah and eight others died when their plane crashed shortly after take-off on a flight to Miami. Aaliyah, who had recently signed up to star in ‘The Matrix’ sequel, had just completed filming for the video to new single ‘Rock The Boat’. It had been reported that baggage handlers at Marsh Harbour Airport on Abaco said the aircraft was overloaded with suitcases, though passengers insisted on taking off with the full load.

Meanwhile, tributes to Aaliyah have been pouring in.

“She was one of those individuals that would light up a room,” P Diddy told MTV. “She always greeted you with a smile. Her time was coming; [she] was just about to explode.”

Producer Timbaland, who collaborated with Aaliyah on hits including ‘Are You That Somebody?’ and ‘We Need A Resolution’, said: “She was like blood, and I lost blood. Me and her together had this chemistry. I kinda lost half of my creativity to her. It’s hard for me to talk to the fans right now. Beyond the music, she was a brilliant person, the [most special] person I ever met.”

DMX, who starred with Aaliyah in the film ‘Romeo Must Die’, made his own simple tribute. He said the singer was “talented, classy, warm, beautiful, compassionate [and] humble… a down-to-earth sister with enough energy to put anyone on a cloud. Let us pray.”

In Aaliyah‘s hometown of Detroit, a crowd estimated at over 1000 gathered yesterday outside Detroit High School for Fine and Performing Arts – her old school – for a spontaneous candlelit vigil. “I wanted to pay my respects to Aaliyah. I never met her but you kind of feel like you know her,” LaDon Harris, a fan, told the Detroit Free Press.

Outside Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, fans have gathered to write messages on an Aaliyah billboard and to leave candles and flowers. And Associated Press reports that a spray-paint artist began yesterday creating a mural of the singer on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in New York.

Aaliyah is survived by her parents Diane and Michael Haughton, and a brother, Rashad.

At press time, no details of funeral arrangements were known.