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.