The singer-turned-actress is killed after takeoff from the Bahamas
Aaliyah, Aaliyah
Credit: Aaliyah: Eric Johnson

Twenty-two-year-old R&B star Aaliyah was killed along with eight other people when a Cessna passenger plane they were riding in crashed shortly after taking off from an island in the Bahamas on Saturday, according to Reuters. The singer was reportedly on her way home to the U.S. after filming a music video in the Abaco Islands.

”An eyewitness said the plane lifted off, climbed steeply into the air, then shortly after banked to the left and ditched into the bushes,” Abaco police assistant superintendent Leland Russell told Reuters. ”On impact the plane burst into flames; some of the persons on board were badly burned.”

Aaliyah’s third CD, ”Aaliyah,” was released just last month to strong reviews and a No. 2 debut on the Billboard album chart. The ”Romeo Must Die” star also had roles in the two upcoming sequels to the Keanu Reeves hit ”The Matrix” and in ”Queen of the Damned,” based on the Anne Rice novel.

Earlier this year, Aaliyah told Entertainment Weekly about other projects she hoped to complete: ”I’m attached to a remake of ‘Sparkle’ that Whitney Houston’s company wants to do; it’s still in development. And I’m interested in doing ‘Some Kind of Blue,’ about a jazz musician’s daughter who falls in love with a white guy at a time when that wasn’t accepted.”

And in a comment that now takes on a tragic irony, she told EW about two objects that she believed brought luck to her career: ”I bring my pillow with me everywhere — its name is Wilson. I also have a toy orangutan that my grandmother gave to me. She was in a scene in ‘Romeo Must Die.”’ About her role as a contemporary artist, Aaliyah said, ‘I’m an interpreter of other people’s words. You write a song, I’ll bring it to life; you give me a script, I’ll bring that to life.” She will be mourned by millions.