Zendaya To Play Aaliyah In Lifetime Biopic

Disney star Zendaya has been cast for the role of the late singer Aaliyah in an upcoming Lifetime biopic.

Zendaya, who is known for co-starring on the Disney Network series, “Shake It Up!,” will be recording four songs for the project, according to


The Lifetime movie will be based on the book “Aaliyah: More Than a Woman” by former TIME magazine music editor Christopher Farley. Aaliyah died in a 2001 plane crash in the Bahamas at the age of 22.

“She’s been an inspiration and influence in my whole career, her talent still shines brighter (than) ever, all I wanna do is honor her,” the 17-year-old tweeted.

She added, “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.”

There are objections to Zendaya playing the “One in a Million” singer. TheYBF.com reportedly spoke with the film’s casting director, Twinkie Byrd, about some of the fans’ complaints, including a concern that a biracial actress should not be playing the African-American singer.

According to her bio on IMDB.com, Zendaya Coleman’s father is African-American while her mother is of German, Irish and English ancestry.

“Zendaya embodies everything you want in an actress to play Aaliyah. She is a posed, professional, strong actress (studies at California Shakespeare Theater and American Conservatory Theater). A triple threat actor, singer, dancer. She loves Aaliyah and will do a wonderful job! She is of mixed ethnicity. Her name is Bantu (Zimbabwe) meaning ‘To Give Thanks.’ Let’s not hate on it but congratulate! She is a great choice!,” the site quoted Byrd. 

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