Fans rejoiced on Friday (Aug. 20) after Aaliyah’s sophomore album One In A Million was finally released on streaming services. The 1996 album went on to reach No. 3 on the U.S. iTunes chart over the weekend.
Aaliyah’s discography, excluding her 1994 debut Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, is owned by her uncle Barry Hankerson, co-founder of Blackground Records. The record label announced the digital release of Aaliyah’s music earlier this month, a plan that was denounced by the late singer’s estate, which called it an “unscrupulous endeavor to release Aaliyah’s music without any transparency.”
On Saturday (Aug. 21), Hankerson thanked fans for waiting over 20 years to stream Aaliyah’s music and addressed her mother, Diane Haughton.
“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,” he captioned an Instagram post. “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.”
“I want to thank Diane, Aaliyah’s manager, for allowing and choosing Blackground Records to become her label,” he continued. “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.”
Hankerson also explained that grief played a part in the long wait for Aaliyah’s music. Tragically, the young star died in a plane crash in 2001 when she was just 22 years old.
“Thank you to all of her many fans for keeping her music alive,” he wrote. “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.”
One In A Million will be followed by the streaming release of Aaliyah on Sept. 10 and I Care 4 U on Oct. 8. See Hankerson’s full post below.
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