Aaliyah Estate Releases Statement About “Unauthorized Projects” as Former Label Teases Music Release

Music

Aaliyah Estate Releases Statement About “Unauthorized Projects” as Former Label Teases Music Release

As rumors swirl about Aaliyah’s music arriving to streaming platforms, the estate reveals an “unscrupulous endeavor” to release the late singer’s music without transparency
Aaliyah in 2000
Aaliyah in 2000 (Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Much of Aaliyah’s most popular music is notably unavailable to stream. Her albums One in a Million (1996) and Aaliyah (2001), plus singles like “Are You That Somebody?,” have stayed off digital streaming platforms. Only early singles and her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number (1994) is available. On Wednesday (August 4), fans on social media speculated about a streaming release after the account Blackground Records 2.0 shared a new website and hashtag: #AaliyahIsComing.

The original Blackground Records released the majority of Aaliyah’s music and was owned by the late singer’s uncle and former manager Barry Hankerson. Hankerson owns the majority of Aaliyah’s masters aside from Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, and he’s confirmed that he’s behind the label’s “2.0” revival.

The Estate of Aaliyah Haughton shared a statement on Wednesday, August 4, which detailed how they’ve “battled behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception with unauthorized projects targeted to tarnish.” The statement criticized an unnamed “unscrupulous endeavor to release Aaliyah’s music without any transparency or full accounting to the estate.” The statement continues:

Although we will continue to defend ourselves and her legacy lawfully and justly, we want to preempt the inevitable attacks on our character by all the individuals who have emerged from the shadows to leech off of Aaliyah’s life’s work. Ultimately, we desire closure and a modicum of peace so we can facilitate the growth of the Aaliyah Memorial Fund and other creative projects that embody Aaliyah’s true essence, which is to inspire strength and positivity for people of all creeds, races and cultures around the world.

The estate offered a hashtag of their own—#IStandWithAaliyah—and Missy Elliott retweeted the estate’s tweet. Earlier this year, the estate noted, “While we share your sentiments and desire to have Aaliyah’s music released, we must acknowledge that these matters are not within our control and, unfortunately, take time.”

A 2016 Complex article “The Inexplicable Online Absence of Aaliyah’s Best Music” outlined how One in a Million and Aaliyah were illegally uploaded to iTunes in 2013 by a distribution company called Craze Digital, which didn’t own the rights to her music. A collection of Aaliyah’s hits were uploaded to streaming services in 2017, but were soon removed

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