Aaliyah’s Music Will Finally Be Released To Streaming 20 Years After Her Death
It’s taken nearly 20 years since Aaliyah’s untimely death, but her music will finally be released to streaming platforms this month. Her uncle’s label Blackground Records teamed up with EMPIRE to release Aaliyah’s albums and soundtracks. Pop star JoJo’s albums will also be released through the partnership.
We lost Aaliyah 20 years ago this month.
Aaliyah passed away in a plane crash in the Bahamas on Aug. 25, 2001. She wrapped shooting the music video for “Rock the Boat” and was on her way back to Miami. In the 20 years since her death, only her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number was released to streaming platforms. That’s because she was signed to a different label at the time, Jive Records, which allowed for the release of the LP.
Aaliyah’s music was long held off streaming platforms by her label Blackground.
Aaliyah’s next two albums, One in a Million and her 2001 self-titled LP, were released through Blackground and Atlantic Records. Blackground, the label created by Barry and Jomo Hankerson, owned the masters to those albums as well as The Romeo Must Die soundtrack. In the past 20 years, the label experienced some financial difficulties and held onto her music with an iron grip. Despite Aaliyah’s other family members’ desire to release her music, they were at the will of her uncle and Blackground.
We’re ready to stream “Try Again” from the Romeo Must Die soundtrack.
Coming up on the 20th anniversary of Aaliyah’s death, Blackground teamed up with EMPIRE to create the label Blackground Records 2.0. This new partnership will release and distribute Aaliyah’s albums and soundtracks. Not only will her music be released to streaming, but the albums will also be available on CD, cassettes, and vinyl. Fans can start placing their pre-orders here.
One In a Million will first drop on Aug. 20. The Romeo Must Die soundtrack with the incredible “Try Again” will be released on Sept. 3. The Aaliyah album with the immaculate “More Than a Woman” will be released on Sept. 10. The greatest hits albums I Care 4 U and Ultimate Aaliyah will follow on Oct. 8.
“Blackground Records has always been about independence and ownership,” said Barry Hankerson in a statement. “From day one, we set out to shake up the music industry and partnering with a company like EMPIRE continues that legacy. This is Blackground Records 2.0.”
Aaliyah’s estate responded to the news about the release of her music.
Despite this giant victory for Aaliyah fans, her family estate seemingly hinted to being left out of the negotiations of releasing her music. Her estate, led by her brother Rashad Haughton, posted a vague statement that read: “This unscrupulous endeavor to release Aaliyah’s music without any transparency or full accounting to the estate compels our hearts to a express a word – forgiveness.”
Under Blackground 2.0, we’re also getting JoJo’s “Leave (Get Out).”
Under Blackground Records 2.0, the new partnership will release albums by JoJo and Toni Braxton that were long withheld from streaming. That means JoJo’s “Leave (Get Out)” from her self-titled album and The High Road album will be released. In 2018, JoJo famously re-recorded the songs to circumvent Blackground’s hold on them. Other albums dropping through the partnership include Braxton’s Libra, Ashley Angel Parker’s Soundtrack to Your Life, Timbaland & Magoo’s LPs, and Tank’s albums.
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