Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The Impact of Aaliyah’s ‘One in a Million’ Single 20 Years After Her Death

*Nearly 20 years after her death, Aaliyah’s sophomore album, “One in a Million,” is finally available on streaming platforms.

The album’s re-release was made possible due to a partnership between Blackground Records 2.0 and EMPIRE, Complex reports.

The Washington Post writes of the re-release:

Listen to her songs today and you’ll hear her tones and tactics coursing through the past 20 years of popular music — her profound interiority, her melodic nonchalance, her sci-fi tomboy aura. Without Aaliyah, Frank Ocean wouldn’t be as enigmatic and Rihanna wouldn’t be as cool. You can trace it all back to “One in a Million,” an album Aaliyah began recording at 16 with the help of Missy Elliott and Timbaland, two then-rookie producers who made the final years of the 20th century feel like a perpetual Saturday night in the 22nd.

Calling the title track “a masterpiece,” pop music critic Chris Richards goes on to say of the song… “experiencing this song at midlife obviously feels much different than slow dancing to it on prom night. A pop hit about adolescent desire now sounds like a spiritual ode to whoever can make you feel good every day for life. The music’s meaning has changed — not because you can suddenly stream it, or because your favorite rapper likes it — but because life goes on, and on, and on, until it doesn’t. Listening to “One in a Million” feels like staring directly into infinity, wondering how much of it we’ll get to see, hoping we’ll feel loved all the way.

READ MORE: R. Kelly Married Aaliyah to Keep Her from Testifying About Their Sexual Relationship

The estate for the late singer has promised that more of Aaliyah’s music will soon hit streaming services. A posthumous album is reportedly in the works that feature rappers Future, Snoop Dogg, and more. 

Per the report, Aaliyah described herself as “a very mysterious person” in a 1999 interview, and in Kathy Iandoli’s new book, “Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah,” producer Jermaine Dupri said of the songstress: “Just the softness of how she sang over those hard-ass beats, it was something different.”

As reported earlier, the singer’s uncle, Barry Hankerson, who owns Blackground Records, posted a statement to #Instagram about the re-release, including the reason why it took so long for his niece’s music to be available.

“Thank you to all of her many fans for keeping her music alive. 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,” Hankerson wrote.

He also included a thank you to Aaliyah’s parents, who served as her managers.

“I can not take the credit for managing Aaliyah as that was never a title I held,” he said in the statement. “That title belonged to Diane Haughton and her husband who managed Aaliyah from the start of her career until her passing.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.



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