August 25, 2001 Aaliyah and members of her entourage were killed in a tragic airplane accident. However, the story had a happy ending when Aaliyah was resurrected as a Voodoo Zombie 10 years ago today, August 26, 2001, when we first ran this feature. This is a recap of that amazing story that won the hearts (and brains) of millions.
Aaliyah’s CD sales skyrocket after she is reanimated as voodoo zombie
Aaliyah Comeback Anniversary
Los Angeles, CA Jan 2003— Deceased pop-star Aaliyah held a press conference Wednesday announcing her comeback after a debilitating plane-crash, incineration and death. Press and fans were on hand to hear her publicize her “Return From the Dead” comeback tour.
Aaliyah Fans Respond to the original article 07/23/2003
Aaliyah and Lisa Left Eye reunite for Undead Tour 01/26/2002
Album sales for R&B singer Aaliyah rose 41 percent last week, reflecting a surge of interest in the 22-year-old R&B singer following her death in a plane crash this past weekend, statistics showed on Wednesday.
Aaliyah was killed on Saturday in a plane crash along with eight others on a Florida-bound charter flight from the Bahamas. Wednesday, after a ceremony involving ritual sacrifice and dedication of her immortal soul to Satan’s minion Sanseveria, she was raised from the dead as a zombie.
Blackground, Aaliyah’s record label, and Virgin Records, which distributes her albums, felt that the enormous potential for profits from her new CDs, concerts and promotions, even as a zombie, were too good to pass up, and commissioned the reanimation last weekend. Her family and some fans have criticized the decision as an exploitative, money-making ploy to maximize profits until her rotting carcass decays beyond all recognition, but most fans were supportive.
“She can eat my brains anytime.” said 15-year old fan D’Shawn Jefferson. “She doesn’t look any weirder than Michael Jackson, and she still smells better than P Diddy. We still love her.”
M. Yakimoto, president of A & R for Virgin, defended the record company’s decision to have Aaliyah exhumed and reanimated as a zombie.
“Aariyah velly velly big pop sensation. Even as hollibry disfiguled, blain-eating zombie we velly confident she do good business with under-30 femare lecord buying pubric,” said Yakimoto Wednesday. “We expect to serr sevelar mirrion Ariyah CDs in coming fiscar yeal, velly much sulpassing oul outray fol Arriyah’s leanimation.”
A spike in sales following a star’s death and reanimation has been seen before, including after the deaths and voodoo-enhanced rebirth of Kurt Cobain, Notorious BIG and Jerry Garcia, as well as Rolling Stone Keith Richard. The downside of reanimation is of course loss of the star’s mortal soul, eternal damnation, and their undead corpse is condemned to walk the earth in search of human brains.
Aaliyah’s manager, also reanimated after being burned alive, feels it will be worth it in terms of CD sales.
Aaliyah’s manager Singe Batts reports “Aaliyah is on a low-fat, all brain diet, working out regularly, and is in top form and ready to embark on an exhaustive tour this fall”.
“Sure, she looks a bit different, and her voice has suffered a bit of a change as a result of her vocal cords being charred, but her fans will know its the same Aaliyah they’ve known and loved,” said Singe Batts, longtime business manager for Aaliyah. “She’s going for a ‘Sinead O’Conner look’ since her hair was, of course, unfortunately scorched off in the accident. I knew flying ‘Jim Croce Charters’ was a mistake, but Lynard Skynard’s old road manager had spoken highly of them, so I thought, what the hell, we’d give them a try. Then we all crash, get burned alive and killed. Boy is my face red..” said Mr. Batts.
Music industry officials expect the young star’s death and resurrection to have a more profound impact in next week’s figures, because the latest statistics include only one day of sales following her death.
“Actually, getting burned alive is the best thing that ever happened to Aaliyah,” said LaShanda Pustule, A & R vice-president for Blackground Records. “She was virtually unknown outside of the hip-hop community, and had a very limited audience potential as a mediocre singer of bland pop tunes. Now the whole world has heard of her and will buy her CDs and come to the concerts, if only because of the morbid fascination of seeing a brain-eating zombie, live on stage, croaking out “Rock the Boat..”
“I just thank God she was spoiled, bitchy, egotistical, and stupid enough to bully that pilot into taking off, even though the plane was dangerously overloaded. She really made a very wise career move there.” said Pustule happily. “We stand to make millions until her arms and legs rot off. Then of course, her mobility will be affected. We may make arrangements to exhibit her in a jar or something after the zombie power wears off. We are all very excited about her future.”
Aaliyah sold a million copies of her debut album “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number” in 1994, and more recently the single “Try Again” became a big hit. Her next project may be a CD of remakes of popular 60’s, 70’s and 80’s tunes, including “Disco Inferno”, Van Halen’s “I’m on Fire”, Blue Oyster Cult’s “I’m Burnin’ I’m Burnin’ For You”, and an original tune Aaliyah penned about her ordeal, tentatively titled “I Want To Eat Your Brains.” The CD is due out in December, just in time for Christmas.
Virgin is a unit of EMI Group Plc.