It's been nearly two decades since the world lost R&B icon and actress Aaliyah Dana Haughton, and her music continues to be celebrated by fans and industry peers alike. Now, on the 19th anniversary of her tragic death, Aaliyah's estate has announced they're in talks to finally bring her music to streaming platforms "in the near future."
Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, August 25, the estate's account wrote, "To our loyal fans: 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. More updates to come!”
Aaliyah, who was born in Brooklyn and raised in Detroit, was considered a trailblazer early on in the industry, paving the way for R&B icons to come with hit singles like "Try Again," "More Than a Woman," and the chart-topping Aaliyah — not to mention multiple studio albums, collaborations, and appearances on soundtracks like Romeo Must Die. The singer tragically died in 2001, at the age of 22, in a plane crash after filming her "Rock the Boat" music video.
Sorting through music rights in the wake of the singer’s death has proved to be a complicated process. Aaliyah's three studio albums were released on the now-defunct Blackground Records, the label founded by the father-son team of Barry and Jomo Hankerson, the former of whom is also Aaliyah's uncle. To complicate things further, those three albums were all distributed by a different label. Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number was distributed by Jive, which still holds the rights to the album, and is currently available on streaming services, while One in a Million was distributed by Atlantic, and 2001's Aaliyah was with Virgin (now owned by Universal).[video_embed id='2021103']RELATED: Brandy and Monica will go head-to-head in an iconic Verzuz battle[/video_embed]
Blackground Records, which had also represented artists Timbaland, Toni Braxton, and JoJo in the past, has reportedly been grappling with lawsuits over the last few years. During that time, there's been extensive mention of a posthumous Aaliyah album which would include contributions from Timbaland, Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Drake, first announced by Barry Hankerson in 2012 but still yet to be released. It's unclear whether the project is part of the catalog referenced in the tweet from her estate.On Tuesday, celebrities and fans took to social media to remember the Princess of R&B, sharing the ways in which she inspired so many over the course of her career.
"It's hard to say what I want my legacy to be when I'm long gone. I want people to look at me as a full on entertainer, and a good person." - Aaliyah. ??️#RIPAaliyah #WeMissYouAaliyah #Aaliyah19Years pic.twitter.com/TpQOWah0e7— amorphous (@loneamorphous) August 25, 2020
Missy Elliott, who collaborated with the late star on multiple singles, videos, and nine songs on the One In a Million album, wrote, "Just know that you are still inspiring generations til this day. We love you."
Your music has always been 10 STEPS AHEAD & Your sound is still FUTURISTIC?Your fashion always been ONE OF KIND. You rocked your outfits with SWAG & SAUCE!?Just know that you are still inspiring generations til this day??We love you?#Aaliyah? pic.twitter.com/SNxiOiWFJC— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) August 25, 2020
During her career, Aaliyah was nominated for five Grammy awards, three American Music Awards, and two MTV Video Music Awards. Her final Grammy-nominated album, Aaliyah, has sold over 13 million copies worldwide.[video_embed id='2021802']Before You Go: Katy Perry tells us about the inspirations behind her new album 'Smile'[/video_embed]