Normani’s first single in two years, “Wild Side”, instantly took the internet by storm with its 90’s reminiscent sultry sound. The song was released on July 16 and is already #13 on Apple Music’s US Top 100. “Wild Side” has a baseline heavily inspired by Aaliyah’s R&B classic “One in a Million.”
Barry Hankerson, Aaliyah’s uncle, owns all of the late singer’s master recordings and manages her music catalog. He believes Aaliyah would have been proud to see how she has inspired the next generation of singers.
“I believe that Aaliyah would be very supportive of a young Black woman that chose to emulate her music and style,” Hankerson told TMZ. He also said that Aaliyah “always encouraged young women pursuing their musical and entertainment careers to achieve their dreams.”
For the most part, Hankerson gives his blessing to Normani but says it would have been more “honorable” if the singer or her team would have gotten permission before using the baseline.
Normani’s team reached out to TMZ and said that no direct sample of “One in a Million” was used. Regardless of the usage rights, Hankerson has made clear that he will not push the issue further as it honors Aaliyah’s legacy.
“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.”