After much anticipation, Aaliyah’s iconic catalog will be available to stream on all streaming platforms this fall. According to Pitchfork, the late singers’ 1996 album One In A Million will begin streaming on August 20 via Blackground Records 2.0, which is owned by her uncle and former manager Barry Hankerson. The releases will then continue with Aaliyah on September 10 and the compilations I Care 4 U and Ultimate Aaliyah on October 8.
Aaliyah’s estate, ran by her mother Diane and brother Rashad, issued a statement detailing how they were not aware of the upcoming releases. They stated that they “battled behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception with unauthorized projects targeted to tarnish.” It continued to mention an unnamed “unscrupulous endeavor to release Aaliyah’s music without any transparency or full accounting to the estate.”
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The estate’s attorney, Paul LiCasi, also issued a statement about the releases. “Aaliyah’s Estate has always been ready to share Aaliyah’s musical legacy but has been met with contention and a gross lack of transparency. For almost 20 years, Blackground has failed to account to the Estate with any regularity in accordance with her recording contracts. In addition, the Estate was not made aware of the impending release of the catalog until after the deal was complete and plans were in place. The Estate has demanded that Blackground provide a full account of its past earnings, and full disclosure of the terms of its new deal to distribute Aaliyah’s long embargoed music.”
Blackground responded to the statement via Billboard and stated that the estate would receive royalties for the releases. “The estate will receive everything that it is entitled to receive pursuant to the terms of our agreement,” the representative said. “Blackground has shared our rollout plans with representatives for the estate and provided them with the opportunity to participate and provide input and the estate elected not to do so.”