Aaliyah’s music influenced an entire generation of R&B music lovers before her tragic death nearly two decades ago. Despite her popularity, much of her music isn’t available on streaming services, a fact her estate has been working hard to change. But shortly after her former record label teased an announcement, the singer’s estate accused executives of “leeching off” her life’s work.
Late last year, Aaliyah’s Estate won control of her YouTube channel and shortly thereafter promised fans they were making headway on an agreement to get her music on widely available streaming services. Things were looking up when a social media account for her former record label, Blackground Records 2.0, popped up with an exciting teaser in the form of a website promising #AaliyahIsComing. Many assumed this to mean word of her music on streaming services, but apparently it was a move made without the authorization of her estate.
Aaliyah’s Estate issued a statement Wednesday making it clear they did not authorize her former label’s announcement. “For 20 years we have battled behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception with unauthorized projects targeted to tarnish,” they wrote. The estate continued to say it is an “unscrupulous endeavor to release Aaliyah’s music” without transparency or their approval:
“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. Although we will continue to defend ourselves and her legacy lawfully and justly, we want to preempt the inevitable attacks on our character by all the individuals who have emerged from the shadows to leech off of Aaliyah’s life’s work.”
Aaliyah’s Estate goes on to say they are continuing to manage her memorial fund and “other creative projects that embody Aaliyah’s true essence.”
See the full announcement made by Aaliyah’s Estate above.