As the 20th anniversary of Aaliyah‘s untimely passing approaches (August 25), the singer’s estate continues to battle her Blackground Records label – helmed by her uncle Barry Hankerson – for control of her music and legacy.
Early Wednesday (August 4), Hankerson sent the late singer’s fans into a frenzy when he launched the cryptic website AaliyahisComing.com – a reported tease that suggests previously unheard Aaliyah music (as well as her entire prized discography) will finally be lifted to streaming services courtesy of his new label, Blackground 2.0.
The move to use the ‘Rock the Boat’ beauty’s catalog to launch his newest business venture has rocked many the wrong way, including her estate. Look inside to see how they responded to the news.
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Taking to Instagram Wednesday night, reps from the singer’s estate made clear they do not support the unauthorized use of any music – heard or previously unheard.
“Protecting Aaliyah’s legacy is, and will always be, our focus,” they wrote. “For 20 years we have battled behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception with unauthorized projects targeted to tarnish. We have always been confused as to why there is such as tenacity in causing more pain alongside what we already have to cope with for the rest of our lives.”
Continuing, the statement reads:
“Now, in this 20th year, this unscrupulous endeavor to release Aaliyah’s music without any transparency or full accountability to the estate compels our hearts to express a word – forgiveness.”
Aaliyah’s estate concluded by saying they will “continue to defend ourselves,” especially against those “who have emerged from the shadows to leech off of Aaliyah’s life’s work.”
As of time reported, Hankerson has not responded to the comments.