Last night, Aaliyah's greatest hits—including songs like "One In A Million" and "Are You That Somebody"—unexpectedly appeared on iTunes and Apple Music. Now, less than 24 hours later, the collection of songs has been removed from both platforms.
Aaliyah's best music has long been conspicuously absent from digital music vendors and streaming services, due to a convoluted legal situation detailed by a Complex investigation last month. In short: Aaliyah's uncle Barry Hankerson, who managed her career from its beginning, refuses to allow the music to be released digitally. That hasn't stopped Craze Productions, a London company that doesn't own any of the rights to Aaliyah's music, from illegally posting the music to iTunes and Apple Music, as they did yesterday. This was the second time the company employed this strategy; the only other time Aaliyah's greatest hits were available for digital purchase was when Craze uploaded the music in 2013.
"Our lawyers are handling it," Rell Lafargue, COO of Reservoir Media—the current rightsholder of the Aaliyah discograpy—told Complex when reached before the greatest hits collection was removed. "I don't think you'll see it there long."
Apple was unavaible for comment.
It's unclear how Craze Productions managed to upload Aaliyah's music for a second time. The 2013 incident resulted in a round of litigation. Lafargue was "baffled" by the development.
After widespread internet celebration last night, Twitter is already mourning the loss of the iconic catalog.
THEY TOOK AALIYAH'S MUSIC DOWN OMG 😲— La Flame 🔥 (@aliyabzeih) January 12, 2017
And just like that #Aaliyah was taken off iTunes 😂😂 so short lived— Roger (@lamb4life22) January 12, 2017
Additional reporting by Stephen Witt
Aaliyah's #UltimateAaliyah album was removed from @iTunes. I should have bought it when I had the chance 😭😤😩— Jaxson (@JaxsonThrone) January 12, 2017