Aaliyah would have turned 40 today…here’s why we can’t stream her music online

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It has been 18 years since the world lost Aaliyah and today marks what would have been her 40th birthday.

The beloved 22-year-old dubbed “The Princess of R&B” who delivered hits like “One In a Million” and “Are You That Somebody?” died in a tragic plane crash in 2001, when the unlicensed pilot who had traces of alcohol and cocaine in his system lost control of the plane shortly after it took off from the Bahamas.

This was long before the internet was the place to go for music. 18 years after her death, fans are unlikely to find any of her tracks on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, or the like because her uncle, Barry Hankerson, still has her hits all locked up.

According to Complex, a hacker tried to upload Aaliyah, her post-humous album to iTunes, but it was gone within 24 hours. Fans who want to honor her legacy by streaming her hits are out of luck because Hankerson still controls all of her music except her first album, Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number. Her debut (not owned by Hankerson) is available to stream on Amazon Prime, Apple Music, and Spotify, but it’s mostly penned and produced by R. Kelly. That’s a particularly painful thing for many who feel Aaliyah was victimized by the man that married her when she was only 15.

Damon Dash says Aaliyah never spoke about R. Kelly relationship: “It was so much hurt for her”

It also seems like a crime that a whole new generation of would-be fans have not been exposed to her work or her legacy unless they purchase them in full. These include One in a MillionAaliyah, and two compilation albums, I Care 4 U and Ultimate Aaliyah. If you really want to dive int Aaliyah’s impressive discography, your best bet is to buy her physical albums in a record store (if you can find one) or on Amazon. Chances are, it will be used because the albums are no longer in production, but it’s better than nothing.

Missy Elliott pays beautiful tribute to Aaliyah with throwback photos

While it’s unlikely that this new generation will be exposed to Aaliyah’s music through streaming, some of the biggest names in music continue to honor her legacy and her music by including her in their own. Kanye West, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, and J.Cole are only a few big names who have waxed poetic about the late singer who touched so many in her short time among us.