#Aaliyahiscoming: Website hints Aaliyah's music is headed to streaming

The superstar singer, who died 20 years ago this month, is one of the largest missing pieces of the streaming puzzle.

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

The estate of late Detroit singer Aaliyah issued a statement Wednesday night, seemingly spurred by reports that her music may finally be headed to streaming services, denouncing those "who leech off of Aaliyah's life's work." 

A new website, aaliyahiscoming.com, was launched Wednesday, suggesting Aaliyah's music might soon be coming to Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services. The singer's hits have long been absent from streaming. 

Aaliyah in the "Are You That Somebody" video.

The new website asks users for an email address and then leads to a page pointing to the social media accounts for Blackground Records, Aaliyah's record label. 

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Blackground's Twitter, Instagram and TikTok pages have been relaunched and are labeled Blackground 2.0. They tout the aaliyahiscoming.com website along with the hashtag, #Aaliyahiscoming. 

The singer's estate responded with a hashtag of its own, #IStandWithAaliyah, and a statement. 

"Protecting Aaliyah’s legacy is, and will always be, our focus. For 20 years we have battled behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception with unauthorized projects targeted to tarnish," the statement reads. "We have always been confused as to why there is such a tenacity in causing more pain alongside what we already have to cope with for the rest of our lives.

“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."

The full statement can be seen here

This month marks the 20th anniversary of Aaliyah's death. The singer, born Aaliyah Haughton, was born in Brooklyn but raised in Detroit. She died in a plane crash in the Bahamas on Aug. 25, 2001, at the age of 22.  

Blackground Records was launched by Aaliyah's uncle, Barry Hankerson, in 1993. The singer's debut album, "Age Ain't Nothing but a Number," was released a year later in 1994, and her subsequent sets "One in a Million" and the self-titled "Aaliyah" followed in 1996 and 2001, respectively. 

Hankerson, the music exec who introduced Aaliyah to R. Kelly, who became her mentor and married her when she was 15, is said to be relaunching Blackground and has signed singer Autumn Marini to the label. Blackground has not released an album since Timbaland's "Shock Value II" in 2009. 

Hankerson controls the master recordings of Aaliyah's music, except for "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number," which is her only album that is available to stream.

This is not the first time that Aaliyah's music has been rumored to be heading to streaming services; in August 2020, Aaliyah's estate announced that talks with labels were ongoing and her music would be available to stream "in the near future."

Aaliyah in the "Are You That Somebody" video.

Earlier this year, on what would have been her 42nd birthday, Aaliyah's estate released a statement about the singer's absence from streaming platforms.  

“We hear you and we see you. While we share your sentiments and desire to have Aaliyah’s music released, we must acknowledge that these matters are not within our control and, unfortunately, take time,” a statement read.

“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. Our priority has always been and will continue to be Aaliyah’s music.”