To commemorate what would have been RnB legend Aaliyah’s 42nd birthday, her estate have released a statement on social media, sharing fans frustrations over the late star’s legal barriers: “We hear you and we see you”. Whilst the Estate of Aaliyah have repeatedly tried to protect and launch her music, their efforts have not yet succeeded.
As of now, the only music available to stream is her 1994 debut album Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number. Legal barriers are enforced by her Uncle, Barry Hankerson, the founder of Blackground Records. He stands in the way of uniting her artistry with streaming platforms, meaning her other albums can only be appreciated through CDs and MP3s.
Our inability to share Aaliyah’s music and artistry with the world has been as difficult for us as it has been for all of you.The Estate of Aaliyah
At the age of 22, an interviewer asked Aaliyah what she hoped her legacy would be; she responded with the hope of being remembered as an entertainer, as “someone who can do it all”. 20 years later, the Estate seeks to honour her aspirations, by working to release her music on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.
The Estate may not have been able to share her albums so far, but in Aaliyah’s own words, they dusted themselves off and tried again.
Words by Naomi Akintola.