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Lifetime's 'Aaliyah: Princess of R&B' Has Cast A Disney Ingenue As The Pop Princess

By Jodi Smith | Industry | June 19, 2014 |

By Jodi Smith | Industry | June 19, 2014 |

R&B singer and actress Aaliyah passed away in 2001 at the age of 22. The plane carrying her and her crew from a video shoot crashed because the pilot was unlicensed and had traces of drugs in his system. Now, in the year that would have marked her 35th birthday, Lifetime is making a television movie based on the novel Aaliyah: More Than a Woman by Christopher Farley. It will follow Aaliyah’s path to fame from her debut on Star Search at age 10 to her musical successes and forays into film before her passing.

Lifetime has announced that Disney actress Zendaya will be portraying Aaliyah and covering four of her songs. Zendaya stars on Shake It Up! on Disney and competed in season 16 of Dancing With The Stars.


The 17 year old also may have given you an earworm with this song:

I’m all for a biopic about Aaliyah. Starting with the underage marriage to piss-master R. Kelly, I’m guessing there is a lot to get into without even touching on her career. But Lifetime isn’t exactly known for their award-winning portrayals of celebrities and their lives, now are they? On a scale of William and Kate to Liz and Dick, how cheesy and excruciating do you think this will be?

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Jodi Smith is a Senior Reporter, Film & Television at Pajiba. You can email her or follow her on Twitter.