Zendaya will portray the Princess of R&B in Lifetime biopic to air this fall.
Zendaya’s got the resolution Hollywood needed.
The 17-year-old singer will be playing songstress Aaliyah in Lifetime’s biopic Aaliyah: Princess of R&B due out this fall. At least that’s what US Weekly’s Allison Takeda’s reporting in “Zendaya to Play Aaliyah in New Lifetime Original Movie: Details.”
The movie will be based on the book Aaliyah: More Than a Woman, a narrative that describes the singer’s life and death. General assumptions involve her personal and public life, like her appearance on Star Search until tragic death.
Takeda mentions the movie will be lead by Turn the Beat Around director Bradley Walsh and Brown Sugar’s Michael Eliiot will be writing the script. Filming will shoot this summer and premiere in the fall.
That doesn’t leave a lot of time since June is almost complete. But Lifetime’s known for quick turnarounds after completing V.C. Andrews’s Petals On The Wind, the network’s Memorial Day megahit, which was filmed and edited in a matter of months.
As a Disney kid, she follows the triple threat starlet ideal: she can sing, dance and act, which makes her perfect casting for Aaliyah. Both began performing young but 17-year-old Zendaya seems to avoided some of the controversy and gossip that plagued Aaliyah.
2013 saw Zendaya break out of the Disney mould: frst, by competing on Dancing With The Stars and then releasing her first album, Zendaya. She also released the book Between U and Me. The single “Replay” reached number 40 and was certified plantinumby the RIAA in January 2014. The album peaked at 51 on the Billboard Chart.
Prior to the end of Shake It Up last year, the Oakland, Cali, native sang on the show soundtracks. Disney experience will definitely be useful since she will perform four of Aaliyah’s hits for the film.
Like Zendaya, acting was in Aailyah’s blood and the adaption to Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned was released six months after her death. She played Queen Akasha, one of the leading roles in the film, alongside Stuart Townsend.
Aaliyah was shooting the video for her single “Rock the Boat” when the plane went down. Traces of cocaine and alcohol were found in pilot’s system. Luis Morales III was also unlicensed at the time.
With the film coming out, one wonders how R&B musicians will react—especially those who knew and loved the artist like family.
The Brooklyn native’s tragic death by plane crash in the Bahamas set the music into a deep mourning and recently, her voice as been used on other artists’ projects posthumously. Most recently in 2012, “Enough Said” was released featuring Drake and last year, Chris Brown’s “Don’t Think They Know” featured the female singer.
Source: US Weekly