Aaliyah’s estate has issued a statement aimed at those trying to “leech off of” the late singer’s work by releasing “unauthorized projects.”
On Wednesday, August 4, the Estate of Aaliyah Haughton put out a statement about some unnamed parties who are allegedly trying to release unauthorized projects associated with the late artist. Within the strongly worded message, her estate reiterated their commitment to protecting Aaliyah’s legacy, but warned fans that some people may try to attack their character.
“… For 20 years we have battled behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception with unauthorized projects targeted to tarnish,” the statement reads. “We have always been confused as to why there is such a tenacity in causing more pain alongside what we already have to cope with for the rest of our lives.
The statement continues, “Now, in this 20th year, this unscrupulous endeavor to release Aaliyah’s music without any transparency or full accounting to the estate compels our hearts to express a word – forgiveness. Although we will continue to defend ourselves and her legacy lawfully and justly, we want to preempt the inevitable attacks on our character by all the individuals who have emerged from the shadows to leech off of Aaliyah’s life’s work.”
The estate went on to say they strive for “closure” so they can continue their mission to grow the “Aaliyah Memorial Fund and other creative projects that embody Aaliyah’s true essence.”
Of the 1,500+ comments on the statement when posted to Instagram, 99% of them are fans reiterating that they just want her music to be released. Not only that, they’re confused at how never making her life’s work available to stream or purchase is “preserving her legacy.”
While this message from her estate doesn’t specify who they’re targeting, it was posted shortly after Blackground Records began hinting at the release of Aaliyah’s music on streaming services. They just launched the website, and have been promoting it across social media using the same hashtag.
Blackground Records was co-founded by Aaliyah’s uncle Barry Hankerson in 1993. Though the imprint shut down following the singer’s death in 2001, Hankerson has maintained ownership of the singer’s masters ever since.
It’s safe to say, at this point, fans just want the music.