NEW YORK – A simple note from her parents poignantly underlines tragic songbird Aaliyah's legacy one year after her death in a fiery Caribbean plane crash.
"Aaliyah, we will love you forever!"
In candlelight vigils -- in public and in private -- fans and family echoed those sentiments in tribute to the beloved soul star on the anniversary of her death.
The 22-year-old singer and seven members of her crew were killed when their Cessna 402-B crashed just after takeoff Aug. 25, 2001, after a video shoot in the Bahamas.
Last night, the singer-actress' memory was honored by several hundred fans in a candlelight ceremony in New York's Times Square.
"It gives you a sense of closure after all this time. I'm glad I came. It makes me feel better," said one female fan who traveled from upstate New York to attend.
Memorial organizer Ron Hall told Black Entertainment Television, "I think that the Aaliyah fans are going to share in a lot of what John Lennon and Elvis fans share.
"The John Lennon fans make their pilgrimage every year, and Elvis fans make theirs" -- and now Aaliyah's will make theirs, he said.
Some fans have already become pilgrims to Aaliyah's final resting place in a mausoleum at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Westchester.
One man reportedly makes the journey to the Hartsdale cemetery every day to leave flowers, poems and cards for her.
Darlene Collins, 34, of Harlem -- who was making her second visit to the site -- said the singer's inner light still shines.
"Aaliyah did a lot for people during her short life," Collins said. "She was really family-oriented and such a beautiful person. That's besides all the talent she had."