On Friday, August 20, Aaliyah’s discography began to slowly waterfall onto streaming services. Beginning with One in a Million and set to culminate with I Care 4 U and Ultimate Aaliyah, the late singer’s final two albums and posthumous compilations will appear across Tidal, Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes and Deezer.
Aaliyah, famous for songs like “One in a Million,” “Rock the Boat” and “I Care 4 U,” died in a plane crash in 2001. The 22-year-old was returning to the United States after filming the music video for “Rock the Boat,” the final single from her self-titled album.
For years, her music stalled, almost completely unavailable to fans while the music industry rushed into a digital age. Enthusiasts worried Aaliyah’s legacy was in danger of fading since the bulk of her music was not officially uploaded to YouTube, or any other online music service. There has also been an ongoing conversation, held by the public, about the presence of new music from Aaliyah. During a rare interview with Billboard, Barry Hankerson, the founder of Blackground Records, the label Aaliyah was signed to, said he originally referred to the singer’s family on how to handle it.
“There was a conversation we had that she didn’t want the music out, and whatever my sister told me, I tried to do what she wanted me to do,” says Hankerson. “As a parent, I would understand if she did not want the music out. Because who wants to hear the voice of your daughter who’s gone? So when she said that to me, I said, ‘OK, we’re not putting it out. I don’t know when, but one day we will.’ We literally packed everything up and went on to something else.”
On the 19th anniversary of Aaliyah’s passing, Aaliyah’s estate, ran by Aaliyah LLC (composed of Diane and Rashad Haughton — the singer’s mother and brother), released an online statement revealing that new music was in the works. Hankerson has since shared Drake, Snoop Dogg and Ne-Yo are among those who will appear on new releases. The moment will undoubtedly be bittersweet for longtime fans who have only heard two new songs from the icon since 2002.
As we prepare to hear some of her most popular cuts, scroll to see the songs we can’t wait to stream in high quality.