Aaliyah’s friends, family and associates said Sunday (August 26) that they were devastated by the sudden loss of the 22-year-old singer and actress, who died in a plane crash Saturday night.
Her family – which includes her parents, Diane and Michael Haughton, and a brother, Rashad – expressed their grief in a brief statement issued through Blackground Records.
“Aaliyah’s family is devastated at the lost of their loving daughter and sister,” the statement said. “Their hearts go out to those families who also lost their loved ones in this tragic accident.”
Aaliyah was one of nine people aboard a twin-engine plane that crashed seconds after taking off from the Bahamas, where she had been shooting a video. All nine died.
Others killed in the accident included Aaliyah makeup artist Eric Foreman, 29, and Virgin Records director of video production Douglas Kratz, 28.
Blackground Records, which co-released Aaliyah’s albums with Virgin Records, called the singer/actress its “queen.”
“The example she showed young people will be sorely missed and we hope her short time on earth will be an inspiration to young people all over the world,” the label, owned by Aaliyah’s uncle, Barry Hankerson, said. The label’s statement also mourned two other victims of the crash, Gina Smith and Keith Wallace, who it said were members of the Blackground family.
Virgin Records, meanwhile, called Aaliyah “one of the world’s brightest and most talented stars, [who] will be mourned by all who loved her and loved her music.”
“Her depth and versatility as an artist was matched by the passion and devotion she had for her craft,” Virgin added in a statement.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Warner Bros. Pictures’ president of worldwide production, who met Aaliyah when she made her acting debut in last year’s “Romeo Must Die,” said her passing was “a huge loss.”
“Aaliyah was one of the finest young women I have ever worked with. She was a consummate professional, an amazing talent with limitless potential and, most importantly, an exceptional person,” di Bonaventura said in a statement. “Her passing is a huge loss to her many friends here at Warner Bros. and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to her family and to those who loved her as we did.”