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August 30, 2001 06:39 PM

R&B singer and actress Aaliyah was laid to rest Friday in a service worthy of a princess, complete with silver-played coffin and horse-drawn, glass-paneled hearse that marched through New York’s Upper East Side. (Coincidentally, the funeral took place on the fourth anniversary of the death of Princess Diana.) Among the mourners who followed the procession were Aaliyah’s mother, Diane Haughton, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Usher, Jay-Z, Lil’ Kim, Mike Tyson, Chris Rock and Gladys Knight, in whose Vegas act the late 22-year-old got her start back when she was 11 and Knight was married to Aaliyah’s uncle. The Brooklyn-born singer, who along with eight others lost her life the previous Saturday when the private plane that was carrying her to Florida from the Bahamas (where she was shooting a video) crashed upon takeoff, was laid to rest at Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum in Westchester, N.Y. Beforehand, her brother, Rashad Haughton, wiped away tears as he eulogized his sister. “I hope God keeps me strong until I see her again,” he said. Meanwhile, a memorial is being planned and a scholarship fund has already been set up to honor the memory of Aaliyah in Detroit, the city where the she was raised and attended high school. The fund, created by the Detroit-based organization Operation Get Down, will annually provide financial assistance to four students attending the Detroit High School for the Fine And Performing Arts, from which Aaliyah graduated. In the ongoing investigation into the cause of the crash, the New York Post reports that the owner of the doomed plane said that Aaliyah’s entourage booked the aircraft for five people, not eight, which would have effected the weight capacity of the plane.

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