Not one day after Aaliyah’s estate released a statement refuting the singer’s former label’s claims that her music would soon be available on streaming platforms or in the form of “unauthorized projects,” Blackground 2.0 has announced that the full Aaliyah catalog is hitting all streaming platforms, starting with her second album One In A Million on August 20. The move to finally release her music on streaming services is spearheaded by her uncle and former manager Barry Hankerson, who struck up a deal with EMPIRE.
This announcement comes after years of fans clamoring for Aaliyah’s discography to be available on streaming platforms. The singer died in a plane crash at the age of 22 on August 25, 2001, and as the 20th anniversary of her death approaches, discussion around streaming access began to swirl again.
Currently, only a small share of Aaliyah’s music is available on streaming services, limited to her early EPs and debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number. Her other studio albums, including One In A Million and Aaliyah, despite reaching double platinum status have remained off of streaming platforms like Spotify. Curiously, her 1998 hit from the Dr. Dolittle soundtrack, “Are You That Somebody?,” is available to stream alongside Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, and “Monster Mash” soundalikes on the unofficial The Conjuring spin-off called Annabelle—The Complete Fantasy Playlist.
Yesterday’s statement from Aaliyah’s estate comes after Hankerson recently relaunched his old record label Blackground Records, promising “Aaliyah is coming” on the website and multiple social media accounts. In addition to Aaliyah’s discography being released to stream, the rest of Blackground’s library will receive the same treatment. Hankerson has control of Aaliyah’s masters, leading to the ongoing battle between him and her estate when it comes to the music’s release.
“We have always been confused as to why there is such a tenacity in causing more pain alongside what we already have to cope with for the rest of our lives,” the statement from her estate reads. “This unscrupulous endeavor to release Aaliyah’s music without any transparency or full accounting to the estate compels our hearts to express a word—forgiveness.”
The Aaliyah albums will arrive on services in waves, with the Romeo Must Die Soundtrack arriving on September 3, followed by her self-titled album on September 10, and compilation albums I Care 4 U and Ultimate Aaliyah on October 8.