Today marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of R&B artist Aaliyah — and her loyal fans were hoping to come together to honor her life.
Unfortunately, the singer's mother Diane Haughton was forced to cancel a planned celebration of life ceremony that was scheduled for Wednesday, August 25, in Westchester County, New York, after claiming an author allegedly promoted their biography about her late daughter at her gravesite.
In a post to Aaliyah's official Instagram on August 24, Haughton explained, “First and foremost, I want to thank my dear ‘Special Ones’ (The Fans) that have been with us for years and supported every endeavor that came our way without hesitation."
“However due to the behavior of an individual that has been to Aaliyah’s resting place in order to promote a book, I have been forced to make a drastic change at Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum. This person interrupted all my thoughts and ideas to make August 25th, 2021 a day of remembrance and love for my daughter," the "One In A Million" singer's mother said.
“Please accept my sincere apologies for this and know I love you and always will," she concluded. "Aaliyah’s life will still shine no matter what.”
Some have speculated that the author in question may be biographer Kathy Iandoli, who recently released the unauthorized tell-all Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah.
However, the journalist made it clear via her Twitter that she absolutely did not visit the Grammy Award winner's tomb in order to get attention for her new book.
“I did not promote my book outside of Aaliyah’s gravesite. That is offensive to even suggest. I have been told that fans have had my book there with them,” she said. “Please no longer bring my book to Ferncliff. Apologies that fans can not visit Aaliyah’s resting place.”
Iandoli told Vanity Fair that although the juicy book is not authorized, she attempted to contact the Houghton family for their blessing: “I did reach out to the family for permission. It’s a strange legal situation involving the estate of Aaliyah, and I learned the complexities of this after Prodigy passed away, because you have the human and then you have the personality, the artist, the image.”
“There’s a lot that I dig through in the book that explains why those are two very separate entities and why it’s not always a priority to get a blessing when you’re trying to highlight the essence of the celebrity, the story,” the former VIBE writer stated. “But I have my suspicions about why they can’t speak on certain things or what their concerns are about certain things, and I do delve into that in the book, and a lot of it involves some legal issues.”
As OK! previously reported, the book makes the shocking allegation that the musician was allegedly drugged when she boarded the plane departing the Bahamas that would take her life.
Aaliyah and eight others were killed in a tragic plane crash in the Bahamas after filming her last music video on Aug. 25, 2001.