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Aaliyah’s estate protests at catalogue’s streaming debut


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The longtime saga of bringing the late R&B star Aaliyah’s full catalogue to streaming services may be nearing its conclusion, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be uncomplicated.

A website set up by Blackground Records, which controls the rights to most of Aaliyah’s recordings, lists various dates for the albums that have famously been unavailable to stream, starting with ‘One In A Million’ on 20 August. DSPs have also trailed the upcoming releases: here’s Spotify’s tweet listing the key dates for example.

The complications? Those come with the response of Aaliyah’s estate, which is firmly NOT on board with these plans. In a post from the official Aaliyah Instagram account, the estate described the releases as “this unscrupulous endeavor to release Aaliyah’s music without any transparency or full accounting to the estate”, with an additional blast for “all the individuals who have emerged from the shadows to leech off of Aaliyah’s life’s work”.

There is a tense family dispute here, as the Los Angeles Times explains. Blackground Records is owned by Aaliyah’s uncle, Barry Hankerson, while her estate is run by her mother and brother, Diane and Rashad Haughton.

Stuart Dredge

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