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Aaliyah’s estate is growing tired of the unauthorized projects that continue to be released about the late singer without their involvement or consent. On August 4, her estate released a statement addressing those who are trying to make moves regarding telling her story and releasing her music.

For 20 years we have battled behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception with unauthorized projects targeted to tarnish. 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. 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.

This statement comes after author Kathy Iandoli came forward with claims that Aaliyah was drugged before her 2001 death in her upcoming book, Baby Girl: Better Known As Aaliyah. In the book, which will be released August 17, Iandoli spoke to a man named Kingsley Russell who was working as a member of Aaliyah’s transportation team along with his family while she was filming the “Rock the Boat” video on the Abaco Islands. He told Iandoli that the “Hot Like Fire” singer was adamant about not getting on the small aircraft that arrived to take her to Miami after she was done filming. Russell said that Aaliyah had went into a van after complaining of a headache and shortly after he saw someone go into the van and give her a pill that knocked her out. When her team was boarding the plane, he claimed that he saw someone carry her onto the plane. Aaliyah and eight others died in the crash on August 25, 2001.

Regarding her music, her fans have continuously called for her full catalog to be featured on streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and Amazon Music. In April 2020, the hashtag #FreeAaliyahMusic was appearing on Twitter as fans rallied for her music to be released from the hold of her uncle, Barry Hankerson, who owns the masters to her albums One In A Million and Aaliyah. Recently, a website,, emerged promising that Aaliyah’s music was on the way.

See the estate’s full statement below.


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