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Colleagues pay tribute to Aaliyah



From Paul Vercammen
Showbiz Today Reports

(CNN) -- The Lady of Soul Awards' celebration of the musical achievements of women took on a more poignant tone with the death of R&B star Aaliyah.

The show was dedicated to the singer, who died in a Bahamas plane crash Saturday at age 22. Eight others also perished in the tragedy. Earlier Tuesday, the performer's body was flown to New York; the bodies of the pilot, Luis Antonio Morales Blanes, 30, and the other victims were to be returned to the United States on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported. U.S. and Bahamian aviation officials were continuing to search for clues to the cause of the crash.

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At the awards show, Patti LaBelle received the Lena Horne Award for career achievement, and wondered aloud about a career -- and life -- cut short.

"I'm thinking about my friend Aaliyah," she told the crowd at the Santa Monica (California) Civic Auditorium. "Tomorrow is not promised to any of us."

Aaliyah had been nominated for rhythm and blues, soul or rap song of the year, an award that was won by Yolanda Adams for "Open My Heart." Adams also paid tribute to her fellow nominee.

"Aaliyah was definitely a special part of my life," she said. "I will miss her."

Other stars were equally moved.

"One thing about Aaliyah -- she was really genuine and nice and not really jaded about being a star," said singer Brian McKnight.

"We were devastated. We loved Aaliyah," said the Isley Brothers' Ronald Isley. "She loved us ... she talks about us in all of her interviews." Aaliyah had covered an Isley Brothers song for one of her albums.

"How do you feel?" asked singer Jill Scott in some shock. "She's 22, talented, beautiful. How do you feel? Numb. It hurts, and it's sad, and we'll miss her."

Destiny's Child, which won Best R&B/Soul Single, Group, Band or Duo for its single "Survivor," dedicated its song "Emotion" to Aaliyah.

"She was our age and it's just scary because that could have been any one of us," said the group's Beyonce Knowles. "She was an angel and I know that she is with God."







RELATED SITES:
• 2001 Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards
• Aaliyah

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