The estate shared the update on Aaliyah’s Instagram profile, writing, “We are excited to announce that communication has commenced between the estate and various record labels about the status of Aaliyah’s music catalogue [sic], as well as its availability on streaming platforms in the near future. Thank you for your continued love and support. More updated to come!”
Back in December, reports emerged that her entire discography would be released on every major streaming platform on her birthday, Jan. 16. However, her music never materialized. And while a bootleg version of the singer’s self-titled 2001 album has appeared on Spotify before, the only official album that's currently available to stream is Aaliyah’s debut studio album, 1994's Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.
Some attribute her missing music to her uncle and mysterious music industry executive, Barry Hankerson, who owns her catalog under his Blackground Records label. Hankerson acted as Aaliyah’s manager, grooming her for stardom from a young age. But there doesn’t seem to be any real reason as to why Hankerson hasn’t made her music available.
In a 2016 story from Complex on Hankerson and the absence of Aaliyah’s music, writer Stephen Witt says, “Aaliyah’s internet absence is different—there’s no logic to it. It’s not an artistic statement or a play for more money, and there’s no dedicated Aaliyah-only streaming service in the works.”
Witt continued, “Instead, there’s a single, stubborn man, sitting on a catalog that includes almost all of her most famous work. … The situation puts her entire musical legacy at risk of fading from memory. Year by year, streaming accounts for a greater portion of an artist’s visibility and reverence among the next generation of listeners. And he refuses to budge.”