Today (August 25) marks 16 years since singer Aaliyah Haughton died. The chartered plane flying her and eight others home after shooting the video for “Rock The Boat” in the Bahamas crashed and exploded soon after takeoff. One fan-created effort to honor her legacy came to fruition yesterday (August 24) when MAC Cosmetics released a new makeup collection inspired by the late singer and actress.
Aaliyah is truly one in a million — an unstoppable icon whose groundbreaking work in R&B music and film inspires us all. Today we join her countless fans in celebrating her with the announcement of the M·A·C Aaliyah collection. You made it happen! Stay tuned in 2018. #AaliyahforMAC @aaliyah_haughton_official
A post shared by M·A·C Cosmetics (@maccosmetics) on Aug 24, 2017 at 7:01am PDT
Vibe reports that the cosmetics company partnered with Aaliyah’s family and estate to create the collection, which will debut next summer. MAC introduced the new line, like a previous one inspired by Selena, after tens of thousands of fans signed a Change.org petition demanding its development. That petition received support from some of Aaliyah’s living family and close friends, including brother Rashad Haughton and collaborator Missy Elliott.
Many of Aaliyah’s fans greeted MAC’s announcement with the same enthusiasm that generated the Change.org petition. Some, however, criticized the decision in tweets responding to the announcement from the singer’s official Twitter account. Much of that backlash focused on how her family and estate worked to release this collection instead of making more of her music available:
So they want to capitalize on her death by selling consumer products but won’t release her music for purchase on digital retailers? Lol k— the count (@MarcusXXXBones) August 24, 2017
Since y’all releasing statements y’all should also go ahead and release Aaliyah’s catalog.— Ria. (@Socialladybug) August 24, 2017
When are you releasing her music? pic.twitter.com/NAIBtnaZpE— Korea Kam (@KameronBankz) August 24, 2017
Aside from a few singles and one-off songs for movie soundtracks, the only full Aaliyah album available on Spotify, Apple Music or Tidal is her first one, 1994’s “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.” That record remains controversial because of its association with R. Kelly, who produced the album and was married to Aaliyah at the time of its release—despite her being only 15 (below the age of consent) at the time. The few publicly-known details about their personal and creative relationship (in tandem with the album’s provocative title) are part of the still-growing body of testimonies accusing Kelly of statutory rape and abusive exploitation of underage Black girls.
As for her other two albums, 1996’s “One in a Million” and 2001’s “Aaliyah,” Complex reported last year that the singer’s music executive uncle Barry Hankerson owns most of the masters for her songs and refuses to release them on streaming services. Neither of those albums, which carried some of her biggest hits, are available on Apple Music, Spotify or Tidal.
The music videos for some of those hits are still on YouTube. Watch a few of them below:
(H/t The Source)