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Singer Aaliyah Killed in Plane Crash
August 25, 2001 11:05 PM   Subscribe

Singer Aaliyah Killed in Plane Crash

R & B singer and actress Aaliyah died after a small plane that was to carry her and eight others back to the United States crashed after takeoff in the Bahamas, authorities said.

I keep typing a description here. and erasing it. I don't know what to say. This is beyond awful. :(
posted by mcsweetie (71 comments total)

 
I know .. some guys were talking about it on IRC and I thought they were BSing ..

Checked CNN and found out it was true .. not good news at all.
posted by loong at 11:12 PM on August 25, 2001


Man... I am kind of blown away by this. I had really seen her as a continuation of the thin-voiced, sultry R&B vixen with cutting-edge production, in the vein of Janet Jackson a decade ago, or Diana Ross 2 decades before that.

For those of you who didn't know her work, she had a moderately successful album in her teens (15?) under the tutelage of the (much older) R. Kelly, with whom she was romantically linked. The first album was somewhat forgettable, and I didn't place big odds on her having much of a career.

Her second album was a reinvention of her sound, with Timbaland producing, and helped introduce a sound that revitalized production and percussion in most of contemporary R&B, to the point where it was so aped as to become a cliche'. But at the time, it was a breath of fresh air.

She had a pair of movie-related singles that really brought her to a higher level of pop success, and those, combined with her roles in the upcoming Matrix sequels, had her poised for really breaking out as a big star. Especially with the recent release of her (not groundbreaking, but excellent for contemporary R&B) third album.

Pardon the impromptu obit, but I really liked this girl, and thought she was more talented than her work so far had shown.

Sigh.
posted by anildash at 11:19 PM on August 25, 2001


RIP

Although I'm not a R&B fan, I think it's sad... just hope they don't commercialise her demise like they've done for so many other R&B and Hip Hop artistes
posted by riffola at 11:20 PM on August 25, 2001 [1 favorite]


lets hope pid daddy do dippy pad doesn't milk her death to sell singles, like he did with the notorious B.I.G.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:23 PM on August 25, 2001


Its sad, but lets not jump on the grieve-from-afar bandwagon for somebody you really never knew. I think netizens show an incredible lack of respect to the real mourners (family, friends) by going off on their trivial mourning which really doesn't compare to her friends' and family's. Lets show some restraint.

Let the flames begin.
posted by skallas at 11:24 PM on August 25, 2001


sucks to be.
posted by moz at 11:28 PM on August 25, 2001


poor girl. rest in peace.
posted by dai at 11:30 PM on August 25, 2001


Some reactions to celebrity deaths strike me as odd.

Today, like 100 or so people will die in the U.S. alone by being shot. A bit more than that will die from being in a car wreck. None of them are one of the beautiful people, so no-one cares.

Really, how could we care about all those people?

But if a famous face dies, it seems like some people are able to connect to it and feel like they suffered a personal loss. They don't really know the person on any meaningful level, but it still hits home.

Like I said, it's odd. I don't have a good explanation for it.
posted by marknau at 11:36 PM on August 25, 2001


Some of these "beautifull people" connect to others through their work as artists.

It's sad to see someone whose work you admire pass on. Especially those who were just starting to see their fullest potential.

We do know these people on a meaningful level, just not the level of personal friends or family.

RIP
posted by futureproof at 11:41 PM on August 25, 2001


Like I said, it's odd. I don't have a good explanation for it.

A little has to do with celebrity worship and a lot has to do with familiarity. You saw her in a movie, seen her mannerisms, know her voice both talking and singing, and maybe saw an interview. You now have a full mental picture of that person. Now that person has been erased from existence. That's just a big slap in the face right there.

The 10 people just killed in the middle east today you never saw before and all the deaths that happen in a 24 hour period you have no familiarity with so its not such a shock.
posted by skallas at 11:43 PM on August 25, 2001


already put the RIP mp3 on filepile. my friends and i were driving to this bar just being loud, when we heard a mention of "aaliyah," "died," and "plane crash." we all were silent... we all immediately questioned it in disbelief.. as if hearing our doubts, the dj said, "For Real."

on the way home, i put in her "one in a million" CD... we tried to joke about it. "why couldn't it have been aaron carter?" i dunno... i'm going to sulk some more.
posted by lotsofno at 11:46 PM on August 25, 2001


Wonder how long til the jokes start?

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHliyah *thud*
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:51 PM on August 25, 2001


That's a pretty tragic story-- I'm not a big fan of R&B or Hip-Hop, but I'll admit that Aaliyah was a talented singer and wrote some catchy music. It's a loss to the industry when someone with so much potential dies suddenly.

I did actually meet her one time (when she visited SF last year during MTV's VJ search), and she was very friendly and charming.

To repsond to the insensitive posts of others here: celebrity deaths are typically more shocking than the deaths of other people, because you tend not to think of such stars as being as vulnerable as the rest of us. Celebrities will attain a certain devotion by the public (whether deserved or not), and when they die in a freak accident, it's unexpected and tragic, if only because we were aware of who they were or what they did for a living.

Naturally, if someone you knew and respected died suddenly in a plane crash, you would be shaken up as well.

I disapprove of martyrdom and exploitaion of celebrities more than the natural grieving process that affects the public.
posted by Down10 at 11:54 PM on August 25, 2001


obi, did the karma ghost movie teach you nothing?
posted by Mrmuhnrmuh at 11:55 PM on August 25, 2001


OK, I'm bein' devils-advocate here, so don't spaz out and take it personally.

When futureproof says that we know her through her art, is that true at all? Popular artists produce stuff that has gone through many filters to make sure that $$$ are maximized. I don't know her stuff, but I'm willing to bet that most of her music was written for her by others.

What part of her do we know?

Her pretty voice, her pretty face.
posted by marknau at 11:57 PM on August 25, 2001



posted by Hackworth at 12:05 AM on August 26, 2001


Is there a lesson in all this?

Yes.

If you are a celebrity avoid small planes.
posted by justgary at 12:05 AM on August 26, 2001


I liked her pretty voice and her pretty face. I thought she was good in Romeo Must Die, I was looking forward to seeing what she'd do in the two Matrix sequels, and "Try Again" was pretty darn catchy.
posted by barkingmoose at 12:08 AM on August 26, 2001


If you are a celebrity avoid small planes.

yeah, i was thinking ritchie valens as well... man, that la bamba movie makes me sad.
posted by lotsofno at 12:12 AM on August 26, 2001


Sorry - just thinking like the lowest common denominator for a second there.

Of course, her song list will provide ample cannon fodder:

Never Comin' Back (yeah, we figured)
The One I Gave My Heart To (did she have a donor card?)
If Your Girl Only Knew (how to fly a 402..)
Hot Like Fire (boom!)

Time for my medicine...
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:13 AM on August 26, 2001


I found out "Try Again" was written by "Garrett, Stephen Ellis" and "Mosley, Timothy Z."

So now the class assignment:

If these two died in a crash, would any of you give a damn? Or do you only love the corporate-approved package?

How does your answer square with your professed beliefs about "selling out" and "commercialization" in the arts?
posted by marknau at 12:14 AM on August 26, 2001


obi, did the karma ghost movie teach you nothing?

Yeah...I guess it could've looked like when that guy's car fell off the cliff.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:21 AM on August 26, 2001


How does your answer square with your professed beliefs about "selling out" and "commercialization" in the arts?

Call me crazy but if you're the type to sit around and watch MTV, things like selling out and commercialization don't really apply.

You're soaking in it.
posted by skallas at 12:22 AM on August 26, 2001


Can we at least call a moratorium on blank-line posts? Yes, it's great that you're observing a moment of silence, but blank-line posts are the equivalent of jumping up and down and saying "LOOK I'M OBSERVING A MOMENT OF SILENCE" before you do it.
That said, I'm sure the execs at WB Music are looking at the bottom line, shaking their heads, and gearing up the PR machine for the next 'thin-voiced, sultry R&B vixen with cutting-edge production'. Within a year or two, I don't think anyone will remember who Aaliyah was--she'll have been efficiently replaced. That's the shame in it.
posted by darukaru at 12:33 AM on August 26, 2001


i honestly dont see the harm in, while not fully mourning, lamenting a famous persons death. right, we didnt know them, and sure other people've died, but its always odd how the random generator of celeb deaths plays out.

and while i didnt listen to her music beyond the radio (though using a baby coo as a sample is gennniusss, seriously) im having that same 3am gloom feeling i had when they said diana was killed. it sucks, and even if you dont know a person, some small snippit of the world changed without your permission. kinda like losing one sock or breaking a vase.

bye aalyiah.
posted by c at 1:15 AM on August 26, 2001


feelingspeechless
posted by feelinglistless at 1:16 AM on August 26, 2001


Posters advertising her new album are plastered all over Copenhagen - sometimes, it seems, within every line of sight. I had started to tune them out, but now I can't. Creepy.
posted by topolino at 1:35 AM on August 26, 2001


One of the few female r&b singers I could stand. This is obviously part of God's divine plan to make radio suck as much as possible.
posted by kevspace at 2:00 AM on August 26, 2001


One likes to believe in the freedom of music.
But glittering prizes and endless compromises
shatter the illusion of integrity.

For the words of the profits were written on the studio wall.
posted by marknau at 2:09 AM on August 26, 2001


There does seem to be a kind of high mortality rate for celebrities on planes especially small ones.
posted by kathrynhunter at 2:35 AM on August 26, 2001


I found out "Try Again" was written by "Garrett, Stephen Ellis" and "Mosley, Timothy Z."

So now the class assignment:

If these two died in a crash, would any of you give a damn? Or do you only love the corporate-approved package?


Uhhh, yeah. Timothy Z. Mosley is the aforementioned Timbaland, a fairly big success in his own right. Aaliyah was just starting to have a hand in writing and producing her material.
posted by anildash at 2:45 AM on August 26, 2001 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the reason it seems so many Celebes die on planes is because they have their friends piloting.

I mean, you wouldn't think small planes are very unsafe. But I suppose if it was piloted by a rich person who was able to fly mostly because they could afford the plane, it might be more risky.

Or maybe Celebrity deaths in Airplanes are just more memorable.
posted by delmoi at 2:58 AM on August 26, 2001


Damn. I was just watching the clip of the excellent 'We Need A Resolution' when the news came up. She was a good singer, indeed.

Allen from neoflux.com wrote exactly what i'm feeling right now (see 2nd paragraph).
posted by kchristidis at 5:31 AM on August 26, 2001


how the heck do you pronounce her name???
posted by billybob at 6:19 AM on August 26, 2001


I had no idea there were so many rules for celebrity mourning:
  1. Don't mourn a celebrity because you didn't know them.
  2. Don't mourn a celebrity because you didn't care when all those ugly non-famous people died.
  3. Don't mourn a celebrity because commercial music is produced by soulless corporations.
  4. Don't mourn a celebrity because a new celebrity will show up to take his or her place.
  5. Don't mourn a celebrity because he or she wasn't keeping it real.
I'm glad all these rules weren't in place when Kurt Cobain died.
posted by rcade at 6:25 AM on August 26, 2001 [1 favorite]


Metafilter wasn't around when Kurt died. Luckily for us, there are currently 10496 thought-police to protect us.
posted by crunchland at 6:48 AM on August 26, 2001


who's to say that people don't mourn the tragedies of people they don't know, even if they aren't famous? that's one hell of big assumption.

we all mourn death differently. the intensity of feeling is an individual matter. it is no one's place to judge another's heart or state of mind when someone dies, famous or otherwise.

if you honestly feel nothing, don't critcise those who do. just keep your damned mouth shut.
posted by bwg at 8:06 AM on August 26, 2001


Billybob, I thought it was 'AA - LA - EE - (Y)AH' (I think a rapper in a song of hers calls her that way),
but on CNN they kept saying it was 'AA - LEE - (Y)AH'.

Whatever.
posted by kchristidis at 8:07 AM on August 26, 2001


I saw Romeo Must die only recently, and was rather taken with Aaliyah...

RIP
posted by tomcosgrave at 8:54 AM on August 26, 2001


Everything I've heard says AA-LEE-YAH, and thats how I've always heard it. Tragic.
posted by owillis at 9:01 AM on August 26, 2001


Interesting that any question of examining one's feelings and the source thereof is taken as a personal affront to so many:

keep your damned mouth shut...

no idea there were so many rules...

currently 10496 thought police...


Is it that you disagree so profoundly that rational thought is elusive, or is it that the celebrity machine's programming is so deeply embedded you can't untangle yourself?
posted by marknau at 9:48 AM on August 26, 2001


I'm glad all these rules weren't in place when Kurt Cobain died.

They were. It's just that a huge number of people disregarded them.
posted by kindall at 10:11 AM on August 26, 2001


can there be one post about a famous person dying without 4 or 5 people chiming in with, "what about x and y? huh?"

I will mourn whoever I damn well please, and I won't be guilted into mourning who you think I should.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:17 AM on August 26, 2001


I always find unexpected celebrity deaths a reminder of my own mortality. In the end, it doesn't matter how much youth, beauty, money, success, and fame you have -- when your number's up, it's up. That being said, I'm always saddened to hear of anyone dying, from pop star to janitor.
posted by jess at 10:36 AM on August 26, 2001


A comment found elsewhere, posted without further
snarkiness on my part:

"This is the first celebrity I can think of in my life that I'll remember 'Where were you when Aaliyah died?' "
posted by Perigee at 10:49 AM on August 26, 2001


Is it that you disagree so profoundly that rational thought is elusive, or is it that the celebrity machine's programming is so deeply embedded you can't untangle yourself?

Yeah, let's apply rules of logic and rationale to emotions like mourning! That makes sense!

"Timmy, you broke your arm while riding your bike. But you may not cry, as a cast and six weeks will heal it. Be not illogical!"
posted by anildash at 11:20 AM on August 26, 2001


Timmy, you broke your arm while riding your bike

I'm confused. Are you arguing that we should have as much emotional control as an 8-year old?

Examining one's emotions is a healthy thing. I'm not arguing for robotic supression, but rather self-knowledge.

I particularly like skallas's "familiarity" argument and jess's "mortality reminder" idea. I learned something about people and myself by considering their responses.

That's a Good Thing.
posted by marknau at 11:32 AM on August 26, 2001


Walking around today, one image stuck in my head: duct tape.

It's rare to encounter the messy aftermath of these sorts of things. Usually we're only left with wrecked fusilage and our selfish imaginations.
posted by joemaller at 11:39 AM on August 26, 2001


According to CNN International, the pilot was vehemently protesting Aaliyah's and her entourage's demand that they bring all their luggage and equipment with them on the flight. Since they had just finished filming a video, we're talking about a LOT of heavy AV equipment in addition to all the usual excessive junk celebrities and their entourages carry everywhere.

Anyway, the pilot lost the argument, and take off he did ... until he flew above the ground effect zone (the heavy cushion of air between the wings and the ground), which is about nine feet in the tin can they were flyingdriving and bouncing down the runway. Then gravity decided to make a reappearance.
posted by aaron at 11:52 AM on August 26, 2001



According to a recent interview, she'd done two weeks of filming in June for The Matrix 2 and was due for more shooting in January. Given that she was to have an even bigger role in The Matrix 3 it may be cheaper to recast and reshoot those two weeks, unless they'd already done extensive post-production work on that footage. Anil and I were chatting: the techniques used in Gladiator (Oliver Reed) and The Sopranos (Nancy Marchand) probably won't work as well in this circumstance. In any case Joel Silver and his insurer are likely having a pretty lousy weekend.
posted by dhartung at 12:12 PM on August 26, 2001


I was on Abaco about two months ago, and the sort of weight issues that have been described above happen on almost every flight. On a previous visit, my parents had to sit on the runway for almost an hour before one of the people on the plane agreed to leave his bags behind for weight reasons. They all groaned about the inconvenience then, but hindsight is 20/20 now...
posted by logovisual at 1:26 PM on August 26, 2001


the pilot lost the argument, and take off he did

since when do passengers tell the pilot what to do? sounds like this is a tragedy that could have been prevented if the plane hadn't been so overloaded.
posted by saralovering at 1:34 PM on August 26, 2001


When the passenger's are wealthy celebrities I think.
posted by Mark at 2:30 PM on August 26, 2001


Let the re-packaging begin!

I just heard from an "industry insider" that her CDs are flying off the shelves today... a buyer for one of the larger record sellers was overheard to be "very excited" about it. My friend was disgusted, as am I.

Reminds me of The Smiths Paint A Vulgar Picture;

At the record company meeting
On their hands - a dead star
and ooh, the plans that they weave
and ooh, the sickening greed
At the record company party
on their hands - a dead star
the sycophantic slags all say:
"I knew him first, and I knew him well"
Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package!
Re-evaluate the songs
double pack with a photograph
Extra Track (and a tacky badge)
A-list, playlist
"Please them, please them!"
"please them, please them!"
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 2:33 PM on August 26, 2001


Is it that you disagree so profoundly that rational thought is elusive, or is it that the celebrity machine's programming is so deeply embedded you can't untangle yourself?

I think it would be nice to untangle ourselves from this freshman-level psychology course on celebrity worship and actually talk about Aaliyah. She died recently. You might not have heard.
posted by rcade at 2:54 PM on August 26, 2001


I was just sickened a little more by this incident.

I was surfing at muchmusic.com (Canadian Music TV channel) and in their news section they have the news title and then the news source.

Here's how it reads.

"Aaliyah Dies In Plane Crash Yahoo!"
posted by futureproof at 3:00 PM on August 26, 2001


Reminds me of this irony.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 4:06 PM on August 26, 2001


Maybe it's part of being an uncaring bastard who has people he knows personally to care and worry about, but the death of a pop-star doesn't seem to affect me. I didn't know her, I didn't find her music to be anything less than cookie-cutter pop music, I never saw any of her movies. I'm not going to miss her, I'm not going to mourn her death, I wouldn't have even noticed that she was gone if not for metafilter.
Of course, I'm just an uncaring bastard who is still selfishly shook up by almost accidentally killing myself and a dear friend.

I must be such a terrible uncaring son of a bitch because I don't care.
posted by fuq at 4:45 PM on August 26, 2001


It's just a shame. Anyone who dies so young, especially since it's preventable... I feel sorry for their families.
posted by jetgrrl at 7:43 PM on August 26, 2001


Another reason to pack light.
posted by tpoh.org at 8:45 PM on August 26, 2001


first thing i would like to say. To the family and friends of aaliyah my heart goes out to you, i know the feeling of pain, and what its like to lose a loved one.

There were some kind words spoken about aaliyah's death. To those people i would like to say thank you for your compassion towards, not only a person who was a good role model to young adults, but who became another tragedy in the world,
There were also people who even in the most sadness of events, continue to bring awareness of how hollow, and disrespectful human beings can be towards each other. To those people i hope there views will not be passed on to another human being.
posted by myths_about_me at 11:41 PM on August 26, 2001


I only know of these issues for the major airlines and not the small private planes, but when it comes to weights and balances, there's no "insistence" when it comes to baggage. If you want to have the extra baggage on board, a person has to come off, and that's all there is to it. You don't take off in a plane that's unbalanced no matter what. Was this a case of celebrity attempting to bypass the rules of proper flight? Or lax enforcement by a Bahamian airport? No pilot would fly a plane he knew to be imbalanced and potentially prematurely earthbound; that's a suicide mission in action.

I don't know that it was, of course, but if this did indeed occur because a celebrity "insisted" that all her crap be brought on the plane with her "or else", my god. Does common sense and a notion of mortality fly out the window when your first big record contract comes through? I've heard stories from my brother of how completely obnoxious and obstinate celebrities tend to be in these sorts of situations so it's easy to deduce that a demanding celebrity or her handlers may have ensured their own demise with their arrogance. Tragic stuff. I don't mean to seem completely heartless in this, but it's an interesting topic.

At any rate, it was refreshing to have some antithesis to the trashy Li'l Kim types out there found in the innate classiness of Aaliyah, and it's a shame we won't get to see all that she was capable of with her talent.
posted by evixir at 1:12 AM on August 27, 2001


Guess what? Aaliyah's latest CD today holds the 2nd position in Amazon.com sales rank...
posted by kchristidis at 2:19 AM on August 27, 2001


Never heard of her.

Did any of you notice that Dr. Harry Martin Meyer Jr. has died?
posted by pracowity at 5:19 AM on August 27, 2001


Never heard of her. Too bad about the pilot and that beautiful airplane though.
posted by bondcliff at 6:16 AM on August 27, 2001


I have it on good authority that the artist formerly known as Ar-lee-a became unprofitable and was therefore eliminated by her record company in order to boost sales. This was a standard part of her contract with the record company.
There are a dozen clones waiting to be wheeled out right now at the record company's behest.

Douglas Adams got a lot less sympathy here, even though (or maybe because) he was a genuinely imaginative free thinker and not a corporate puppet trotting out government music.
posted by fritx at 9:01 AM on August 27, 2001


dude, what are you talking about? the entire net mourned Douglas Adams like he was Kurt Cobain.

*ducks, expecting to catch hell for THAT one*
posted by Sapphireblue at 9:33 AM on August 27, 2001


I didn't know who Aaliyah was before the crash (RnB isn't my fave type of music), but I can sympathize with the general mourning reaction of people.

I was, after all, one of the people who mourned Doug Adams when he died (his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a masterpiece of absurdist sci-fi)...
posted by phoenix at 1:58 PM on August 27, 2001


Douglas Adams got a lot less sympathy here, even though (or maybe because) he was a genuinely imaginative free thinker and not a corporate puppet trotting out government music.

So the level of mourning one should receive within a group should be based upon the group's general consensus of the stature of the decedent's work?
posted by Dreama at 2:32 PM on August 27, 2001



posted by jcterminal at 2:42 PM on August 27, 2001


This whole incident reminds me of a Paper Lace song:

The Night Aal-yi-ah Died!
Sha na na na na na na na na na NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH!
The Flight the Pilot Lied
Brother what a flight it really was, Mother what a night it really was, glory be!
posted by winkl at 1:27 PM on August 31, 2001


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