After years of false starts, it’s official: Aaliyah’s music is coming to Spotify.
The streaming giant shared the news on August 5th. One in a Million will be available on August 20, the Romeo Must Die soundtrack is due out on September 3, Aaliyah is coming on September 10 and I Care 4 U and Ultimate Aaliyah, both compilations, will be added on October 8.
On August 4, a mysterious website called Aaliyah Is Coming emerged, prompting chatter about if the final two albums from the late singer’s discography could be coming to streaming services soon. Some are leery after a number of false starts over the years, but slightly hopeful that they’d be able to finally enjoy her music beyond YouTube.
Upon plugging in your email address on Aaliyah Is Coming, you’re taken to a page that showcases social media profiles for Blackground 2.0, the revived music label that Aaliyah was a part of.
For the entirety of her professional singing career, the singer, who died in a plane crash in 2001, was signed to Blackground Records, which was ran by her uncle, Barry Hankerson. The label also once housed talent like Timbaland, Tank and Static Major, all of whom worked with Aaliyah in some capacity. When his niece was 12 years old, Hankerson introduced her to another singer he managed—R. Kelly.
Kelly is currently imprisoned while he awaits trial for sex trafficking charges.
The only project of Aaliyah’s that is available online is 1994’s Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number, a body of work tainted by the involvement of Kelly. It is the only project of hers that Hankerson does not own the masters of. Upon transferring to Atlantic Records from Jive Records as Blackground’s distributer, he gained such ownership of her following albums.
Aaliyah, dubbed “The Red Album,” was distributed by Virgin Records.
The same year her debut album was released, Kelly and the teen starlet allegedly married, when Aaliyah was 15 years old and Kelly was 27. Fake identification, listing Aaliyah as 18, was used to obtain the marriage certificate. The marriage was annulled, after the certificate was published in the Dec. 1994/Jan. 1995 issue of Vibe Magazine.
Hankerson reportedly separated the two, severing their working and disturbing romantic relationship.
Aaliyah began working with a new crew of producers, Missy Elliott and Timbaland, Black sonic time travelers who were already in tune with feel of the pending millennium in 1996. The result was One in a Million, released in 1997.
After taking a break to embark on an acting career, Aaliyah returned after peppering singles from film soundtracks, with her self titled album in 2001. The album was daring, sexy and even more foward-thinking than her previous effort, debuting at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums.
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