UPDATE (4:50PM): Aaliyah's greatest hits collection has now been removed on Apple Music and iTunes after being available for streaming for a brief period. “Our lawyers are handling it,” Rell Lafargue, COO of Reservoir Media (which holds the rights to Aaliyah’s discography) told Complex before the Ultimate Aaliyah album was taken down. “I don’t think you’ll see it there long.”
Apple has not yet commented on the news.
Aaliyah fans were welcomed with a surprise last night that many thought would never come: the late artist's Ultimate Aaliyah greatest hits collection is now available for streaming for the first time ever. The album mysteriously appeared on Apple Music and iTunes, but as of this publication it is not available on other platforms like Spotify or Tidal.
The 25-track collection features classic singles like "Try Again," "I Care 4 U" and "Back & Forth," as well as deep album cuts including "Are You Feelin' Me" and "Messed Up." Stream it below:
While the album's appearance is exciting, the way it came about is a bit questionable. Back in December, Complex published a feature that explored the reason why Aaliyah's music was almost nonexistent on the internet. Before this, the artist's only music that was available for streaming was her 1994 debut Age Ain't Nothing But a Number—the sole album that uncle and Blackground record exec Barry Hankerson doesn't own the masters to.
Aaliyah's other albums, One in a Million and Aaliyah, are still not found on digital streaming platforms and probably won't be until Hankerson finally gives up the rights to them after almost two decades after her untimely death. It's worth noting the copyright of Ultimate Aaliyah belongs to Craze Productions, the same company Reservoir Media Management sued in 2013 for allegedly illegal selling of Aaliyah's final records on iTunes.
As of now, the album is still streaming on the platform. But with the history of the late singer's tightly capped music catalogue, it's possible we may not have it for much longer. For more Aaliyah, read our conversation with the producers of her final album for its 15th anniversary.