Friday: Funeral, Memorial for Aaliyah
A private funeral for Aaliyah, for 1,200 invitees only, was held on Friday at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Manhattan. A daylong memorial event, open to the public and at which Aaliyah's music and videos were played continuously, was also held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Cipriani's 42nd Street on East 42nd St. in Manhattan, across the street from Grand Central Terminal. The private funeral followed a procession of a glass-encased, horse-drawn carriage carrying Aaliyah's body from the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home on upper Madison Avenue to the church. Aaliyah's family had given Campbell's permission to place a guest book outside the funeral home for fans to sign to given to her family. Similar registers were placed at other funeral homes across the country. After the mass, 22 trained doves were released to fly overhead, one for each year of the singer's life. She was buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery in suburban Hartsdale, N.Y. Aaliyah was killed last Saturday, along with eight others, when a private plane taking her to Florida from the Bahamas (where she'd been for a video shoot) crashed upon takeoff. Although investigators have not named an official cause of the tragedy, Bahamian aviation officials released an estimate Thursday of the weight of the plane (about 5,495 pounds, not including the nine adult occupants). An independent expert told the Associated Press that the figures indicate that the aircraft was overloaded. It has also been reported that the pilot of the plane, who had recently been arrested in Florida for crack cocaine possession, was not licensed to fly in the Bahamas.
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