Zendaya Coleman Lands Lead Role for Upcoming Aaliyah Biopic


Singer-actress Zendaya Coleman has been cast for the role of  the late R&B artist Aaliyah in Lifetime’s original movie “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B” (working title).

The biopic will tell the story of the “One in a Million” singer’s life from her debut on “Star Search” to her rise to fame and, finally, her tragic passing at age 22 in a plane crash in 2001.

Rumors circulated for a while about the biopic and who would take on the role. Other contenders included actress Tristin Mays and BET host Keshia Chanté, but it was Zendaya who came out on top.

Though the Disney “Shake It Up!” star brings acting, singing and dancing skills to the table, the news has left Twitter users expressing their concern as to whether the 17-year-old is the right choice for the role.

After much ranting and raving by Twitter users, Zendaya took to the social media site to comment on her new role.

She’s been an inspiration and influence in my whole career, her talent still shines brighter then ever, all I wanna do is honor her,” she tweeted. “Show how much she accomplished in only 22 years….she’s beautiful inside and there will never be another Aaliyah, I just hope to share her beautiful story, and make her proud up in heaven #babygirl #forever #OneInAMillion.”

She added: “I’m just a 17 year old girl who got cast to play one of her biggest inspirations #positive.”

For the film, Zendaya will record four of Aaliyah’s most well-known songs. In 2013, she released her self-titled debut album with her first single “Replay,” certified as platinum in the U.S.

“Aaliyah: Princess of R&B” will be produced by Aaliyah Productions, Inc. with Howard Braunstein and Debra Martin Chase serving as exec producers. Bradley Walsh will direct from Michael Elliot’s script.

The television film will be filmed this summer, and is slated to premiere in the fall.

What are your thoughts on Zendaya taking on the role of Aaliyah?

(Photo Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images)