The death of Aaliyah Haughton has still left an open wound in the minds and hearts of her biggest fans 14 years later.
Saturday marked what would have been the singer’s 37th birthday. However, it apparently became a day for many people to reflect on the short life and tragic death of Aaliyah.
Aaliyah boarded what would become her final flight on August 25, 2001 at 6:50 P.M. The One in a Million singer boarded a twin-engine Cessna 402B plane at an airport in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas after filming a music video for her hit single, “Rock the Boat.” She was accompanied by eight other people – including the on-board pilot, her hair & make-up stylists, security guard and two of her record label’s employees.
Moments after the plane took off, according to MTV News, it crashed and exploded nearly 200 feet from the end of the runway.
The 22-year-old’s life, which was tragically cut short in that plane crash, was further symbolized and commemorated by the 22 doves that were released into the sky at the end of her funeral service.
Those that were in attendance to mourn Aaliyah just scratched the surface of the million of people around the world that were shocked and saddened by the news of Aaliyah’s death.
Even those that were not familiar with Aaliyah or her music may have recognized the general headline stating that a singer died in a plane crash; it is a tragedy that has unfortunately taken the lives of many other singers both before and after 22-year-old Aaliyah Haughton.
The following is just a relatively short list of the entertainers and celebrities that have lost their lives in plane crashes.
Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson
February 3, 1959 has been referred to as “The Day the Music Died,” according to NY Daily News. Chantilly Lace singer J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, La Bamba singer Ritchie Valens and Peggy Sue singer Buddy Holly boarded the same plane after a performance that night.
Holly reportedly chartered the plane to avoid having to ride a bus from Iowa to Moorhead, Minnesota. The plane crashed a few miles away from an airport near Clear Lake, Iowa – killing all three singers and the pilot. Similar to the death of Aaliyah, their plane crashed moments after taking off.
Singer Otis Redding made a major impact in the world of soul music. Like Aaliyah, he started to hit his stride in the music industry in his 20s with a number of hit songs to his name and a vast number of fans eagerly waiting to see what he would do next. In 1966, Redding recorded a soulful version of the 1932 song Try a Little Tenderness– a cover that would essentially gain its own identity as one of the most memorable songs of Redding’s career. Redding worked on another one of his most memorable hits, (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay, just days before his tragic death.
Traveling with his band in 1967, Otis Redding boarded his Beechcraft H18 (a twin-engine plane) on December 9, 1967 to head to Wisconsin. The band was scheduled to perform at a nightclub near the University of Wisconsin. However, a few miles away from their destination, the plane reportedly crashed into Lake Monona. Redding’s body was recovered the next day during a thorough search of the lake bed.
Jenni Rivera first started recording music in the early 1990s. Unlike many of the other singers mentioned above, including Aaliyah, Jenni was able to enjoy a successful music and acting career for nearly 20 years before her tragic death in 2012. Along with her list of hit singles and acting roles came an extensive list of awards and accolades – including 18 Lo Nuestro Awards, 2 Billboard Music Awards and 2 Billboard Latin Music Awards.
Hours after performing a concert at Monterrey Arena, Jenni Rivera boarded a plane along with her staff with plans of traveling to Toluca for a scheduled appearance on La Voz…Mexico, according to BBC News. Sadly, the plane crashed on December 9 – the same month and day of Otis Redding’s death – killing every passenger on-board.
These are just a few of the singers, entertainers and celebrities that have died tragically in plane crashes. Singers Jim Croce, Glen Miller and John Denver are several more popular celebrities that were unfortunately added to that list with their respective deaths.
With each passing year, the death of Aaliyah Haughton and all of the other celebrities that lost their lives in plane crashes bring back saddening memories of their deaths as well as satisfying memories of their lives. Their hit songs and chart-topping albums continue to make an impact on their fans years after their deaths, allowing their legacies to live on through their work.
[Image Credit: George de Sota/Getty Images]