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Aaliyah’s uncle, Blackground Records founder Barry Hankerson, issued a statement addressing why the singer’s music has taken so long to hit streaming platforms.
“As the owner of Aaliyah’s catalog and label Blackground Records, I want to thank you all for allowing One In A Million to chart #3 in the world,” Hankerson’s statement begins.
“I can not take the credit for managing Aaliyah as that was never a title I held. That title belonged to Diane Haughton and her husband who managed Aaliyah from the start of her career until her passing,” he continued.
Earlier this month, the late singer’s Estate issued a statement ahead of the release to streaming platforms.
“For 20 years we have battled behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception,” the estate’s statement reads, “now, this unscrupulous endeavor to release Aaliyah’s music without transparency or full accounting to the estate compels our hearts to express a word – forgiveness,” but promises to “continue to defend ourselves and her legacy lawfully.”
The noise behind the scenes has quietened since then, which hopefully signals that all issues have been worked out.
Hankerson goes on to thank others who have contributed to bringing Aaliyah’s music to her fans.
“I want to thank Diane, Aaliyah’s manager, for allowing and choosing Blackground Records to become her label. I want to thank Jomo Hankerson for being an integral part of the whole process. We created a signature sound, images, and visuals that will live forever. After 25 years, we are still charting high numbers,” he writes.
“Thank you to all of her many fans for keeping her music alive. I’m sorry it took so long, but when you lose a family member so unexpectedly, it takes time to deal with that type of grief. I decided to release Aaliyah’s music in order to keep her legacy alive.”