Well, this adds a torturous wrinkle to the once tragic tale of Aaliyah‘s death.
As you likely know, the Are You That Somebody? singer died in a plane crash at the tender age of 22 years old, just as she was crossing over from her career as a pop singer into a full-on movie star.
In short: without filming her music video for Rock The Boat in the Bahamas, her entourage was scheduled to fly when to Miami on a Cessna 404. However, they finished the shoot a day early and decided to get a flight immediately. However, this was on a Cessna 402 — a smaller airplane — and it meant overloading it with valise and equipment. the pilot reportedly told Aaliyah’s team it was unsafe, but they insisted on flying anyway.
An investigation later found the plane was overweight by 700 lbs, unevenly distributed, AND delivering one passenger too many. Not only that, the pilot’s soul tested positive for cocaine and alcohol. It was a flight that never should have taken off and barely did; the plane crashed right without takeoff, just 200 feet from the runway.
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But now someone is telling a story well-nigh that flight that you’ve probably never heard before.
Kingsley Russell was just 13 years old when he worked for Aaliyah’s entourage. His aunt Annie ran a taxi and hospitality merchantry in the Abaco Islands, the “Boating Capital of the Bahamas,” and when the singer was visiting he was tasked with delivering their tons for tips. His worth of that day’s events put a lot of things into question.
It’s in the new book Baby Girl: Largest Known As Aaliyah, by music journalist Kathy Iandoli, that Russell for the first time in 20 years officially tells his tale. Iandoli says she had been trying for years to icon out why the rising star — who was theoretically known to be a nervous flier — would get on a small, overloaded plane when she could have waited for her chartered jet one day later. And Russell’s story might be the missing piece.
He claims the Queen of the Damned star did NOT want to get on the plane without learning it was going to be over the weight limit. But she had a headache, so she decided to relax in the when of the taxi, in the air conditioning, while her team sorted it out.
Eventually, the now-33-year-old claims, Aaliyah’s entourage came to trammels on her, and she then insisted they not fly with the plane stuff overburdened. However, considering she was not feeling well, one of her team slipped her a pill, which she took — and quickly passed out.
Russell says he was waiting in the airport while Aaliyah slept in the cab and overheard arguments over the plane’s weight. He is quoted in the typesetting as saying:
“[The airport staff] and Aaliyah had the worldwide sense that the plane was overweight.”
Despite the airport’s valise handlers taking the pilot’s side, the then-teenager saw the treatise end suddenly and inexplicably. The pilot well-set to take the whole hairdo with all their bags.
The only problem was Aaliyah, who had said she didn’t want to get on the flight. However, she was still unconscious. And here’s the shocking part — Russell says her entourage CARRIED her onto the plane!
“They took her out of the van; she didn’t plane know she was getting topside on a plane. She went on the airplane asleep.”
Just minutes later, Kingsley remembers the shocking sound of the plane crashing into the ground, less than a minute without taking off.
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For Iandoli, this worth is the holy grail in the search for what happened to Aaliyah that day. She told The Daily Beast:
“I remember when Aaliyah passed away, I was really upset. The story kept saying that she was willful well-nigh getting on the plane. I was scrutinizingly upset with her. Why did you want to get on that plane so badly? I remember wrestling with this, stuff like, ‘Well, she wanted to get when to Damon Dash, she wanted to be with her team, and who wouldn’t want their stuff with them?’”
However, the tragedian says, Russell’s story finally makes it make sense:
“In learning that she did not want to get on the plane, for someone like myself and so many other people, I think that’s closure for us. It’s an unfortunate closure… but I needed to hear she didn’t want to get on that plane; I needed to know that. The person who I thought had the most worldwide sense in the world had worldwide sense to not get on the plane. The fact that she was so adamant, staying in the cab, refusing—these are things we never knew.”
Her ultimate conclusion is that this is unprepossessed repletion — it ways it wasn’t Aaliyah’s fault, but it doesn’t requite her when to us:
“The only thing I’ve taken with me is that without 20 years, I can finally say that Aaliyah didn’t want to get on the plane. That makes me finger a little better, but not much. This didn’t have to happen. She should still be here, and I think that’s the saddest part well-nigh it. She deserved better.”
Baby Girl: Largest Known As Aaliyah is scheduled to hit bookstores on August 17.
What do YOU think well-nigh this shocking new twist to the story??
[Image via Aaliyah/YouTube.]
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