Hankerson spoke separately of R. Kelly’s abuse of Aaliyah, saying he was considering confronting the singer himself but decided he “was not a hardcore criminal.”
Friday August 27 was a day of bittersweet celebration for many fans of the late R&B icon. Aaliyah.
Not only did the date mark the 25th anniversary from the Brooklyn-born singer’s 1996 multiplatinum album One in a million, fans were also able to listen to the album via streaming services for the first time, with more music from the beloved artist slated for release soon, per year. announcement from his uncle Barry hankerson earlier in August.
On Wednesday, the 74-year-old sat down with Boldness‘s Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan to discuss Aaliyah’s discography arriving on streaming platforms 20 years after her death in 2001, as well as an upcoming posthumous album, which would feature previously unreleased music and collaborations with artists like Duck and Ne-Yo as well as artists who did not have the chance to work with the late singer during her lifetime, such as Snoop dogg and Future.
28-time Grammy winner Beyonce is among the artists who have never officially released a song with Aaliyah, although the two have been in close orbit during the overlapping years of their careers. During Wednesday’s interview, Hankerson praised the Crazy in Love the singer’s longevity and revealed that the two R&B giants co-wrote a handful of songs during their brief stint together.
“I’m a fan of her, Aaliyah was a fan of her,” said Hankerson, founder of Blackground Records, the label responsible for releasing the majority of Aaliyah’s discography. âTo her credit, BeyoncÃ© actually walked into the studio and helped Aaliyah write a few songs. “
âShe was very unselfish from that point of view, which I appreciate because I’ve worked with a lot of artists that ego – we had to move furniture around to get it into the room,â continued Hankerson, praising BeyoncÃ© for being a cultural “mainstay” for the past 20 years, adding that it is “unfortunate” that the two have never had the chance to work together.
Aaliyah, whose full name is Aaliyah Haughton, died at the age of 22 in a plane crash that occurred less than two months after the release of her eponymous third studio album. Despite her young age, she was already a music industry veteran, first signing to Blackground at the age of 12.
Before releasing three studio albums that sold millions of copies worldwide during her short but legendary career, Aaliyah was introduced to another artist mentored by Hankerson at the time – R. Kelly – who was later found to have manipulated Aaliyah into illegal sex when she was underage.
Rumors of an illegal relationship, including an alleged secret marriage between the two, began to circulate alongside the release of their first collaborative studio album in 1994, titled Age is nothing but a number. The allegations were then confirmed by Vibe Magazinethe publication of a 1994 marriage certificate which incorrectly stated that 15-year-old Aaliyah was 18. The marriage was later called off by her parents in 1995.
The long-awaited legal trial of Kelly, born Robert sylvester kelly began Wednesday for several allegations of sexual and psychological abuse against girls, boys and young women, including Aaliyah throughout her career.
During an appearance Thursday morning on Rickey Smiley Morning Show, Hankerson revealed that he was considering handling affairs with Kelly on his own, but decided not to because he “was not an outright criminal.”
âTo be honest with you, of course, I was upset. I had to really, really think about what my actions would be, âHankerson said. âAnd I really found out that I was not an outright criminal. I couldn’t kill anyone.
“I am a Muslim and I went to see Minister Farrakhan and we just prayed about it, we resolved to let God take care of him,” he continued. âI think that’s what’s going on. It makes no sense that two lives are destroyed.
Kelly is on trial on one count of racketeering based on the sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping and forced labor, and eight counts of violating a law that prohibits the transport of people across the borders of the ‘State for the purpose of prostitution, according to the New York Times. The 52-year-old has already pleaded guilty to more than 20 sexual abuse charges.
In 2019, Kelly was stopped on federal sex trafficking charges with an indictment of 13 counts, including charges of child pornography, incitement of a minor and obstruction of justice.
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