Much of Aaliyah’s catalog is unavailable to stream or download due to strict restrictions from her estate. However, rumors swirled on Aug. 4 when Blackground Records, owned by the late singer’s uncle Barry Hankerson, made the website and hashtag: #AaliyahIsComing. Hankerson owns a majority of Aaliyah’s masters except for Age Aint Nothing But a Number and has confirmed that he is behind Blackground Records with the goal of releasing her music in the near future, per Pitchfork.
Fans speculated that her top single “Are You That Somebody?” and albums, One in a Million (1996) and Aaliyah (2001), will soon be available to stream yet Aaliyah’s estate expressed that they do not cosign this “unauthorized project.”
“Protecting Aaliyah’s legacy is, and will always be, our focus,” the heartfelt post began. “For 20 years we have battled behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception with unauthorized projects targeted to tarnish.”
“Now, in this 20th year, 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 estate also said that they will continue to defend themselves “lawfully and justly.”
The estate added: “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 their own hashtag #IStandWithAaliyah.
Fans commented under the post in hopes to change the estate’s mind on releasing the singer’s music.
One user commented, “Release Babygirl’s music 👸🏽👸🏽👸🏽👸🏽”
Another user begged the estate and insisted releasing the music is what her fans would want, “can we at least get her original music on apple music or something?! like you can’t even find her CD’s in store or at rasputin’s. y’all know AALIYAH LOVED HER FANS RELEASE HER MUSIC!”
“How does not releasing her music preserve her legacy…respectfully? I feel sharing her music would only grow her legs at and legend….but…ok,” another fan commented.