Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Netflix Announces Release Dates for 'Beasts of No Nation' & Other Titles on Its Film Slate Netflix Announces Release Dates for 'Beasts of No Nation' & Other Titles on Its Film Slate Is There a Filmmaker in the Obama Family? The 1st Daughter is Working as a P.A. on 'Girls' Is There a Filmmaker in the Obama Family? The 1st Daughter is Working as a P.A. on 'Girls' The Music Video Rihanna Could Have Made.... The Music Video Rihanna Could Have Made.... Marvel Should Consider These 5 Directors for its Black Panther Movie (Chime in with Yours) Marvel Should Consider These 5 Directors for its Black Panther Movie (Chime in with Yours) Crowdfund This: Sci-Fi Feature Film Inspired by Nalo Hopkinson's 'Brown Girl in the Ring' Crowdfund This: Sci-Fi Feature Film Inspired by Nalo Hopkinson's 'Brown Girl in the Ring' Revolution Cinema: 5 Films to Put on Your "To-See" List This July 4th Holiday Weekend Revolution Cinema: 5 Films to Put on Your "To-See" List This July 4th Holiday Weekend ABC Is Rebooting 'To Tell the Truth' with Anthony Anderson & NeNe Leakes ABC Is Rebooting 'To Tell the Truth' with Anthony Anderson & NeNe Leakes Crowdfund This: Shola Amoo's 'A MOVING IMAGE' on Gentrification in London Crowdfund This: Shola Amoo's 'A MOVING IMAGE' on Gentrification in London It's July! Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library This Month It's July! Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library This Month ‘Little White Lie' - Engrossing Look Into One Family's Silence, Secrets & Denial of Race - Now Streaming on Netflix ‘Little White Lie' - Engrossing Look Into One Family's Silence, Secrets & Denial of Race - Now Streaming on Netflix The Soul of Black Film in Brazil - An Overview of the Country's Largest Black Film Festival The Soul of Black Film in Brazil - An Overview of the Country's Largest Black Film Festival "Your Legacy Is More Than a Name" - Watch Michael B. Jordan in First Trailer for 'Creed' "Your Legacy Is More Than a Name" - Watch Michael B. Jordan in First Trailer for 'Creed' Trailer: Hannibal Buress Asks Life's Biggest Questions in New Comedy Central Series Coming 7/8, After 'Key & Peele' Trailer: Hannibal Buress Asks Life's Biggest Questions in New Comedy Central Series Coming 7/8, After 'Key & Peele' 'Extant' Returns to CBS 7/1. Get Caught Up w/ This 1-Minute Recap + Read What Critics Are Saying 'Extant' Returns to CBS 7/1. Get Caught Up w/ This 1-Minute Recap + Read What Critics Are Saying Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Aren’t We Talking About the Sexual Assault in 'Beyond the Lights'? Why Aren’t We Talking About the Sexual Assault in 'Beyond the Lights'? T.I. Teases His 'Ant-Man' Role - "I Play a Superhero's Homeboy" T.I. Teases His 'Ant-Man' Role - "I Play a Superhero's Homeboy" Watch Season Premiere Of Starz Drama Series 'Power' (50 Cent-Produced, Starring Omari Hardwick, Naturi Naughton) Watch Season Premiere Of Starz Drama Series 'Power' (50 Cent-Produced, Starring Omari Hardwick, Naturi Naughton) Is Al Roker Leaving 'The Today Show'? (Maybe...Maybe Not) Is Al Roker Leaving 'The Today Show'? (Maybe...Maybe Not)

Recording Artist Zendaya Cast to Play Aaliyah in Lifetime's Original Movie 'Princess of R&B'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 16, 2014 at 4:25PM

Based on the bestseller "Aaliyah: More Than a Woman" by former Time Magazine music editor Christopher Farley
29
Zendaya

Recording artist Zendaya has been cast to portray Aaliyah in a Lifetime Original Movie about the life of the actress and R&B sensation who, at the height of her stardom, tragically died in a plane crash.  

Based on the bestseller "Aaliyah: More Than a Woman" by former Time Magazine music editor Christopher Farley, the Lifetime Original Movie will be titled "Aaliyah: Princess of R&B" (although it's a working title), the first movie about the beloved artist, will be filmed this summer and premiere in the Fall.

Quite a fast turnaround!

Here's Lifetime's official synopsis for the film from the press release I received:

Before Beyonce and before Rihanna, self-proclaimed “street but sweet” Aaliyah was poised to become a global icon with top-selling albums, a hot movie career and an adoring fan base. But behind the spotlight, Brooklyn-born, Detroit-raised Aaliyah Dana Haughton struggled to succeed in a tough business while staying grounded in the midst of her growing celebrity. The film follows the beautiful and talented performer’s inspirational journey, from her debut on "Star Search" at the age of ten to the challenges she faced during her rise to become the Princess of R&B. On August 25, 2001, at the height of her popularity, her life was tragically cut short when a plane carrying the singer and some of her video crew crashed after takeoff from a Bahamian runway. Although just 22-years-old at the time of her death, Aaliyah continues to lead a legacy as Billboard’s tenth most famous R&B artist of the past 25 years and one of the recording industry’s most successful artists in history.

Platinum-selling artist Zendaya will record four of Aaliyah’s songs for the film, including many of her hit singles.

“Replay,” her first single from her self-titled 2013 debut full-length album, sold 1,000,000 copies in the U.S. this January, and the music video now has more than 54 million views on YouTube.  

The busy multi-hyphenate will also star in the upcoming Disney Channel Original Series "K.C. Undercover" and the Disney Channel Original Movie, "Zapped," which premieres this summer. She starred as Raquel “Rocky” Blue on the hit Disney Channel series "Shake It Up."

Zendaya was also the break out star and runner-up on Season 16 of "Dancing with the Stars."

Her casting comes on the heels of news that Yaya DaCosta Alafia has been cast to play Whitney Houston in another Lifetime biopic - that one directed by Angela Bassett, her directorial debut. Clearly Lifetime hopes to rip some ratings and profits from biopics on the lives of black musicians.

I should also note VH1's TLC biopic which was a hit for that network when it premiered last fall.

"Aaliyah:Princess of R&B" will be produced by Aaliyah Productions, Inc. Howard Braunstein ("The Informant!") and Debra Martin Chase ("The Princess Diaries," "Sparkle") will serve as executive producers.  

Bradley Walsh ("Turn the Beat Around") will direct from a script written by Michael Elliot ("Brown Sugar").

This article is related to: Zendaya, TV News


Shadow & ActNewsletter