The late singer's family is urging fans to treat the wax figure with respect, calling the act "inappropriate and unacceptable"

By Colleen Kratofil
August 26, 2019 11:25 AM

Just days after Aaliyah‘s new wax figure was unveiled at Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas, her family is urging museum-goers to respect the replica after fans defaced it with makeup and re-styled its hair.

On Monday, the late singer’s Twitter account posted a photo of a woman applying lip gloss to the wax figure, and another that showed the figure’s hair noticeably styled differently, which prompted them to issue a statement to fans.

“We ask kindly that anyone visiting the Aaliyah wax figure @TussaudsVegas please treat it with respect, this has been a lot of years of hard work by her fans petitioning and her family’s @RAD_6 support,” the account wrote. “Below is inappropriate and unacceptable #TeamAaliyah tribute to the late singer 18 years after she was killed in a tragic plane crash.”

The figure was unveiled to pay tribute to Aaliyah 18 years after she was killed in a tragic plane crash at 22 years old. She was memorialized wearing an outfit from her “Try Again” music video in 2000, featuring leather pants and silver sequin bra.

The woman seems to have been applying lip gloss from M.A.C.’s Aaliyah collection, which features a shiny beige tube with maroon-colored applicator.

Many fans on Twitter were outraged and left supportive comments to her family.

“Very disappointed to see it hasn’t been a week and this has happened,” one commenter wrote.

“It’s disgraceful that anyone would move a hair or put anything on the beautiful waxwork that they created, if I was lucky enough to see it in person I would never be so disrespectful,I’d be so in awe & take a picture. This tribute is so beautiful so I don’t know why this happens,” wrote another.

RELATED: Aaliyah’s Brother Unveils New Wax Figure of the Late Singer at Madame Tussauds

The singer’s family, including her brother Rashad Haughton, worked very closely with the museum on the design.

“I was involved in the process from the inception of the project,” Haughton told Vibe. “The team at Madame Tussauds welcomed a collaborative effort in choosing the pose and look of my sister’s figure. They made sure my mother and I were comfortable and supported through an amazing but understandably emotional process.”

Madame Tussauds’ Las Vegas studio manager, Adam Morey, told the magazine that choosing that particular look was easy because it has “the sexy, edgy, timeless vibe we try to imbue in the Las Vegas attraction within all our creative choices. Mining popular culture as only Madame Tussauds can, our desire to honor Aaliyah and the look in this way was only confirmed as we see today’s Hollywood stars like Keke Palmer, Kim Kardashian, Zendaya, also paying homage by recreating their own favorite moments of the Princess of R&B.”

On Sunday, the 18th anniversary of her death on August 25, 2001, many performers paid tribute to the superstar including Missy Elliott, Kehlani and Ella Mai.

“Aaliyah it’s been 18 years now but your STYLE & MUSIC still continues to IMPACT all the generations behind you!” tweeted Elliott, 48, who was a close friend and collaborator of Aaliyah. “May you rest In paradise in PEACE You will NEVER be forgotten so MANY LOVE you Babygirl WE ALL MISS YOU!”

“I always forget how young Aaliyah was. rip to a REAL legend,” Kehlani, 24, wrote.

Musician Ella Mai tweeted on Sunday, writing, “rest in paradise aaliyah. thank you for all of your inspiration. we miss you 🌹.”

Aaliyah was traveling with seven others on the day of the plane crash while en route home to Miami from the Bahamas after shooing the music video for “Rock the Boat.”

The five-time Grammy nominee released her first album, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, when she was 15. Her second album, One in a Million, was certified double platinum in 1997, and her final record, Aaliyah, sold over 2.4 million copies worldwide and scored a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album in 2002.