Actress and recording artist Zendaya will be filling a new role this summer as the late songbird Aaliyah in a Lifetime biopic of the R&B singer’s life and rise to stardom before her untimely death in 2001.
< p>The film, tentatively titled “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B,” is based on the New York Times bestseller “Aaliyah: More Than A Woman” and is set to premiere this fall.
Zendaya, an Oakland native, will record four of Aaliyah’s songs for the upcoming movie. Zendaya has starred in Disney’s “Shake It Up!” TV series and released her debut self-titled album last year. She also stars in the Disney original movie “Zapped” and was a runner-up on season 16 of “Dancing with the Stars.”
In her short 22 years, Aaliyah Dana Houghton also enjoyed multiple successes in music, as an actress, dancer, and model.
It cannot be denied that Aaliyah’s sound helped define R&B in the 90’s. She released her debut album “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number” in 1994, which was certified double platinum. On her second album “One in a Million” released in 1996, Aaliyah worked very closely with producers Timbaland and Missy Elliott and released some of her most popular singles, including “If Your Girl Only Knew,” “4 Page Letter,” and “One in a Million.”
Aaliyah starred in the films “Romeo Must Die” (2000) and “Queen of the Damned” (2002). She released her third and final self-titled project in 2001, shortly before she and her video crew died in a plane crash in the Bahamas.
Zendaya recently tweeted, “She’s been an inspiration and influence in my whole career, her talent still shines brighter than ever. All I want to do is honor her, 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.”
The biopic will be produced by Aaliyah Productions, Inc. with Howard Braunstein and Debra Martin Chase as executive producers and director Bradley Walsh.