Curators of Black Media

Aaliyah’s Uncle Gives Well Wishes To Normani After She Allegedly Samples ‘One In A Million’

Barry Hankerson, Aaliyah’s uncle and owner of her masters, said he approved of Normani possibly using a sample of his niece’s song, “One In A Million.”

In her newly released track “Wild Side” featuring Cardi B, Normani uses a beat that sounds similar to Aaliyah’s 1996 hit.

Hankerson told TMZ that the Princess of R&B “always encouraged young women pursuing their musical and entertainment careers, to achieve their dreams.”

“I will not stand in the way of something that brings to light the incredible staying power of Aaliyah. So in that light, wishing Normani well with the song and overall career. God bless. I think Aaliyah would be pleased,” he continued.

Sampling an Aaliyah song is a rare occurrence, as her music is not available on streaming services due to legal issues around her estate. 

“We hear you and we see you,” a statement from Aaliyah’s Twitter account reads. “While we share your sentiments and desire to have Aaliyah’s music released, we must acknowledge that these matters are not within our control and, unfortunately, take time. Our inability to share Aaliyah’s music and artistry with the world has been as difficult for us as it has been for all of you. Our priority has always been and will continue to be Aaliyah’s music.

“In the meantime, however, we are working diligently to protect what is in our control — Aaliyah’s brand, legacy, and intellectual property,” the statement continued. “In doing so, we will continue to release unique and exciting projects to keep Aaliyah’s legacy and light shining…Undoubtedly, we understand how frustration can lead to [sic] angry and disappointment. However, we ask all of you for your continued support and love as we aim to achieve these goals for all of you and our babygirl. We appreciate you.”

An attorney for Blackground, a record company founded by Hankerson, confirmed to TMZ, however, that the Aaliyah sample was never officially cleared for use. 

Though he gave his support, Hankerson did note that it would have been “more honorable” if Normani sought approval to sample “One in a Million” first.

In addition to Normani receiving Hankerson’s well wishes, she also garnered support from producer and former friend of Aaliyah’s, Timbaland

As Blavity previously reported, Aaliyah fans recently took to social media to share their love for the “Rock The Boat” singer on the 20th anniversary of her eponymous album, AALIYAH.  

J.D. Smith is a Tech Investor, Author, and Economist. He is the Founder of Visionary Creative International, a Tech-Based Consumer Solutions Company. He is also the Publisher for Black Media Daily, a 24/7 media outlet providing a voice for black content creators and a place to control their image throughout the Diaspora. J.D. is also the co-author of the book 100 Questions Black People Should Ask themselves, and a best-selling author of the book Made By Hustle. As a digital nomad, he promotes the importance of black travel and working from anywhere.