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Thursday, Blackground Records co-founder Barry Hankerson—uncle of the late Aaliyah—confirmed a deal that will bring her discography to streaming services.
The announcement, which was preceded by a wave of social media promo earlier this week, serves as the basis for a new Billboard piece in which a rollout for multiple Aaliyah albums is confirmed. First up is One in a Million, out later this month.
The soundtrack for Romeo Must Die is up next in September, followed that same month by the 2001 self-titled album. In October, the compilation albums I Care 4 U and Ultimate Aaliyah will be released on Spotify and elsewhere.
The deal in question sees Hankerson’s Blackground Records—which owns the bulk of Aaliyah’s masters—partnering with Empire to release the label’s full catalog. Also included in the new-to-streaming catalog are releases from Timbaland and Magoo, Tank, Toni Braxton, JoJo, and former O-Town member Ashley Parker Angel.
As detailed in the Billboard piece, the path these albums took to arriving on streaming services has been a long one for all involved, including fans who have often been disappointed after getting their hopes up about the future of the late singer’s catalog.
A posthumous album from Aaliyah is also in the works. Though a release date is not set yet, Hankerson says he’s sitting on new music that includes features from Drake, Future, Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, and Ne-Yo.
A press release, which arrived shortly after the publication of the Billboard piece, noted that Background Records will now be known as Blackground Records 2.0. The company is also launching a new “entertainment app” called Music360.
Running Aaliyah’s estate are the singer’s mother, as well as brother Rashad. In January, the estate marked what would have been Aaliyah’s 42nd birthday by sharing a statement addressing the confusion surrounding the catalog.