Weeping and applauding, fans of soul singer Aaliyah marched yesterday alongside a horse-drawn carriage carrying the body of the young artist, who died after her private plane crashed just after take-off in the Bahamas. The procession launched a day long tribute to the 22-year-old Grammy-nominated performer - who had been set to appear in a sequel to the cult movie The Matrix, which is about to start filming in Australia. The tribute to her included a memorial event attended by more than 3,000 people at Manhattan restaurant Cipriani's 42nd Street. Wiping tears and cheering "We love you, Aaliyah", her admirers walked several blocks from a funeral home to St Ignatius Loyola Church on Park Avenue, where they joined hundreds more fans crowded behind police barricades. Aaliyah's casket could be seen through the glass sides of the carriage drawn by two white horses. Five limousines filled with flower arrangements followed. Inside the church, many entertainment celebrities mourned her at an invitation-only service, including rappers Jay-Z, Lil' Kim and Missy Elliott, music mogul Sean Combs, boxer Mike Tyson and actor Delroy Lindo, who starred with Aaliyah last year in the film Romeo Must Die. After the funeral service, 22 white doves were released from the steps of the church into the sky, one for each year of the singer's life, organisers said. Aaliyah, whose full name was Aaliyah Haughton, and eight others were killed last Saturday when their twin-engined Cessna plane crashed into swampy scrub and burst into flames shortly after taking off from Marsh Harbour airport in the Bahamas. The singer and other passengers were on their way back from filming a music video and police said they were trying to determine if overloading or engine failure played a role in the crash. Aaliyah was born in Brooklyn, but moved to Detroit when she was five. She began performing at an early age and by the time she was 11 she was singing in Las Vegas with the legendary Gladys Knight troupe. In 1994, aged 15, she sold a million copies of her debut album Age Ain't Nothing But A Number and was nominated for a Grammy award for the single Try Again from Romeo Must Die. She recently finished shooting Anne Rice's The Queen Of The Damned. In July, her third solo album, Aaliyah, was released. Fans queued up outside Cipriani's with flowers, stuffed animals and written messages of support for the singer's family. Inside, two large screens played her music videos, while fans filed along a candlelit path and put their names and thoughts in 10 registers. Aaliyah, who married breathy sensuality with complex, thumping hip-hop tempos, won over fans by avoiding the kind of controversy that has tarnished the career of some of her peers...
PIC 1 :Diane Haughton(C), the mother of R and B
star Aaliyah, is embraced after funeral services
for her daughter at from St. Ignatius Loyola
Church in New York on August 31, 2001. Aaliyah
died in a plane crash in the Bahamas on August 25.
PIC 2 :A horse-drawn carriage carries R and B
star Aaliyah's coffin from a funeral home to St.
Ignatius Loyola Church for services in New York on
August 31, 2001. The 22-year-old singer was killed
August 25 in a plane crash in the Bahamas.
PIC 3 :Pall Bearers and mourners follow the horse
drawn hearse carrying Aaliyah as it makes it's way
down East 84th Street, on New York City's Upper
East Side, Friday, Aug. 31, 2001, to Saint
Ignatius Loyola Church on Park Avenue. The 22-year-
old singer-actress died Saturday in a plane crash
in the Bahamas, where she had been shooting a