Nyle Paul | Staff Writer
For all of the Aaliyah fans out there, many are familiar with the struggle of trying to find Aaliyah’s songs on streaming platforms. Due to legal issues with Aaliyah’s personal rights to her music, most of Aaliyah’s music has never appeared on streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify.
This might not be an issue much longer. Aaliyah’s estate has given an update confirming that efforts are being made to have Aaliyah’s entire catalog released on all streaming services.
“I hope what they’re saying is true,” said Makayla Jones, a first-year Hampton University English major from Brooklyn, New York. “I’d love to have easy access to the music she would want us to have, right at the tip of my fingers.”
A few days ago, the estate of Aaliyah released its first statement addressing fans’ concerns regarding the streaming of music for the singer, who died in a plane crash at age 22 in 2001. Her estate addressed the roadblocks that prevented them from releasing her music and assured fans that the estate is working toward addressing such concerns and protecting Aaliyah’s brand.
“We hear you and we see you,” read the statement from Aaliyah’s Twitter account. “While we share your sentiments and desire to have Aaliyah’s music released, we must acknowledge that these matters are not within our control.”
“In the meantime, we are working diligently to protect what is in our control – Aaliyah’s brand, legacy and intellectual property.”
The main roadblock that is causing such trouble over releasing Aaliyah’s catalog is the fact that all three of her albums were made with Blackground Records, a record label that is now inoperative.
Each album was also distributed by different labels. Aaliyah’s first album released in 1994, “Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number,” was on Jive Records, which still holds the rights to the album. “One In A Million” was on Atlantic Records, and her self-titled album “Aaliyah” is now owned by Universal Music Group. Jive Records allowed its content to be available on streaming services, hence the songs from “One In A Million” being the only songs from Aaliyah’s catalog that are available to stream.
“One of my favorite songs by Aaliyah is ‘One In A Million,’ and I’m sure I’ll have more when her unreleased music becomes available,” said Johnathan Williams, an HU Kinesiology major from Nashville, Tennessee. “It’s a shame that all this time has passed and no one has had the opportunity to enjoy the music we all know is good.”
With the inability to contact the former owners of Blackground records and maneuver around legal difficulties set in place, Aaliyah’s estate has been met with many unsuccessful attempts with releasing Aaliyah’s catalog. However, according to Aaliyah’s estate, gradual progress with releasing the catalog has been made since its first attempts with releasing the music back in August.
With the estate’s promise and the progress that has been made over time, Aaliyah fans are hopeful that her music will soon grace the platforms of all streaming services later this year.