Aaliyah's Estate to Bring All Her Music to Streaming Services

Published January 17th, 2021 - 09:24 GMT
The singer and rising actress was killed on August 25, 2001
The singer and rising actress was killed on August 25, 2001
The estate of the late singer Aaliyah updated her fans on Friday about its ongoing struggle to make all of her music available on streaming platforms.

Her estate shared a statement on social media acknowledging the 'frustration' of fans who want to be able to access her music more easily, though it said it would take time for her last two albums and posthumous releases to be released digitally.

The statement came a day before what would have been the singer and actress' 42nd birthday. 

'We hear you and we see you,' began the statement that was addressed to Aaliyah's 'loyal fans.'

'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.

'Our inability to share Aaliyah's music and artistry with the world has been as difficult for us as it has been for all of you. Our priority has always been and will continue to be Aaliyah's music,' it continued.

'In the meantime, however, we are working diligently to protect what is in our control — Aaliyah's brand, legacy, and intellectual property. In doing so, we will continue to release unique and exciting projects to keep Aaliyah's legacy and light shining'

The statement asked for the 'support of the fans Aaliyah loved so dearly' while the estate tried to 'resolve all the issues in freeing her music.'

'We understand how frustration can lead to anger and disappointment. However, we ask all of you for your continued support and love as we aim to achieve these goals for all of you and our babygirl,' the statement concluded.

Aaliyah's music isn't completely absent on digital platforms, as her first album, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number, is available, and some early EPs and singles are also available.

However, her second and third albums, One In A Million and the self-titled Aaliyah, are both absent, as are her posthumous compilations.

Some legacy acts have been slow to release their music on streaming services in protest of the relatively minuscule payments from the services, but Aaliyah's second and third albums aren't even available for digital purchase. 

In fact, their CD versions are even out of print, which isn't usually the case for digital holdouts. 

The singer's estate previously released a statement in August promising Aaliyah's music would be available on 'streaming platforms in the near future,' which may have made fans anxious for more.

'We are excited to announce that communication has commenced between the estate and various record labels about the status of Aaliyah's music catalogue, as well as its availability on streaming platforms in the near future. Thank you for your continued love and support,' the statement read.

In 2016, a lengthy investigation by Stephen Witt for Complex revealed that Aaliyah's digital absence is almost single-handedly due to the inaction of her uncle Barry Hankerson, who was also her manager and the founder of her label, Blackground Records.

Following the singer's untimely death, Hankerson's 'grief turned to despondency,' and he was reportedly unable to even be in the same room when her music was playing.

Over time, Blackground failed to keep up with the digital revolution and stopped paying its artists, many of whom, including Timbaland and JoJo, sued. 

The newest statements from Aaliyah's estate still suggest her music will be available again, though it's unclear how long that process will take.

The singer and rising actress was killed on August 25, 2001, when her chartered plane crashed shortly after taking off from the Bahamas.

She had just finished filming a music video and was returning home to the US, but the plane was significantly over its allotted weight and had one more passenger that it was certified for.

It was later revealed that the pilot had faked his certifications to get his license, and he was found to have drugs in his system at the time.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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