Much of the late R&B star’s music is missing from streaming services, with only her early singles and debut album, 1994’s Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, currently available on digital streaming platforms.
Blackground Records, owned by the singer’s uncle and former manager Barry Hankerson, was responsible for the majority of Aaliyah’s music. Hankerson owns the majority of Aaliyah’s masters (aside from her debut album), and he’s confirmed that he’s behind the label’s “2.0” revival.
Yesterday (August 4), the Estate of Aaliyah Haughton shared a statement explaining how it has “battled behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception with unauthorised projects targeted to tarnish.” The statement criticised an “unscrupulous endeavor to release Aaliyah’s music without any transparency or full accounting to the estate.”
“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,” the post continues.
“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.”
Many fans have reacted to the news by pleading with the estate to permit the release of her music. “You guys claim to be protecting her legacy but what you are actually doing is erasing it,” one Twitter user wrote.