On a day that many intend on celebrating her, we receive unfortunate news where it doesn’t look as if the late singer’s catalog will be added to streaming services anytime soon.
Unless you’re like me, and spent the time to upload all your old CD’s into your Apple iTunes catalog then you’re certainly missing the convenience of having Aaliyah’s music at your fingertips. All fans want is to enjoy Baby Girl’s music on streaming services, but it looks as if we won’t be receiving Aaliyah’s catalog anytime soon. When the late singer’s Madame Tussauds Wax Museum figure was unveiled in 2019, the world thought that with the honor would come all of Aaliyah’s music, but that didn’t happen. Then, there was an announcement last year that hinted at the singer’s tunes possibly being on their way soon, but those dreams have been deferred now that Aaliyah’s estate has shared some bad news.
Aaliyah was just 22-years-old in 2001 when she died in a plane crash in the Bahamas where she’d just finished shooting a music video. Her shocking death is still felt by those who are close to her and the millions of fans who adored her music, and the last step to sharing Aaliyah’s talents seems to be opening her catalog for the world. On Friday (January 15), the singer’s estate shared an update to her Instagram page stating that they, too, want to make her music available but the powers that be won’t let that happen.
“We must acknowledge that these matters are not within our control and, unfortunately, take time,” reads the post. “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.” They added that her “brand, legacy, and intellectual property” are in their control, so they will “continue to release unique and exciting projects to keep Aaliyah’s legacy and light shining.”
Fans are unsurprisingly disappointed. While many seem to be upset with Aaliyah’s estate, it should be noted that as they said, it actually isn’t in their control. Instead, the power lies with a single, stubborn man (Aaliyah’s uncle Barry Hankerson) who is sitting on a catalog that includes almost all of her most famous work, as well as albums from Timbaland and Toni Braxton, and a trove of unreleased original material that’s never before been heard. The situation puts her entire musical legacy at risk of fading from memory. Year by year, streaming accounts for a greater portion of an artist’s visibility and reverence among the next generation of listeners. And he refuses to budge.
It’s so disappointing that Aaliyah’s legacy can’t properly live on to it’s full potential because the gift she gave us the most of can’t properly be appreciated by fans new and old. Read through the full statement along with some reactions below. What are your thoughts on this mess?
At this point I just need to see if I can buy AAliyah’s music on CDs cause waiting for the streaming of it chile…
— Pat 🇭🇹 (@MsNeverOnTime) January 16, 2021
As much as I would love for Aaliyah’s music to be on streaming services on her birthday…I’m not holding my breath. The estate have been doing the bare minimum for years, I just hope they at least do something WORTH the wait cause they have disrespected my sis for too long!
— A🦋🇸🇱 (@xaisshaxx) January 10, 2021
Me being tired of y’all bullshit about delaying Aaliyah’s music on streaming platforms for the 10th consecutive year in a row. I already know what it say… stop making announcements and just surprise us at this point!!! pic.twitter.com/BUWIQYkXEi
— Drizzy (@itz_driz) January 16, 2021
So, I guess I will still wait for Aaliyah’s music to hit the music streaming services. 20 years is nothing to me! pic.twitter.com/nnbcAZjrz2
— Allison Allen (@3rdgen49er) January 16, 2021
Another year, another empty promise of Aaliyah on streaming pic.twitter.com/82RlTkkiCp
— Capital Ode (@CapitalOde) January 14, 2021
Me tryna read this bullshit about y’all delaying putting Aaliyah’s music on streaming platforms for the 10th consecutive year in a row. I already know what it say and I ain’t read it. Stop making announcements, just surprise us at this point. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/elpIj8UR6u
— ✍🏾🗣 (@writtenbytruth) January 15, 2021
Today is Aaliyah's birthday and 20 years later her music still isn't released due to her uncle Barry Hankerson, who owns her masters. Aaliyah's fans, legacy, and music deserves better than this. https://t.co/fXyRMA5IpU
— Rontez Clark (@rclark_90) January 16, 2021
Honestly it gets harder and harder to celebrate Aaliyah’s birthdays/life knowing her life’s work is locked up bc her uncle is fucking crazy. When her music should be celebrated everyday.
— Kelis (@ButterflyxQueen) January 16, 2021