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Disney Channel Star Zendaya to Portray Aaliyah in Lifetime Biopic

Date June 17, 2014

Zendaya, Aaliyah

Back when Beyoncé was still just a child of destiny, Aaliyah was burning up the music charts and lighting up movie screens in films like Romeo Must Die. And now, 13 years after her tragic death in a plane crash at the age of 22, she's finally getting the biopic treatment. 

Lifetime announced Monday that Disney star and popular recording artist Zendaya (Shake It Up!) has landed the coveted lead role in the network's upcoming original movie Aaliyah: Princess of R&B (working title).

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Based on the book Aaliyah: More Than a Woman by Christopher Farley, the film will chronicle the life of the talented actress and R&B sensation who first performed on Star Search at the age of 10 and whose rise to stardom was tragically cut short. The movie, the first based on her life, will film this summer for a fall premiere.

Lifetime is currently working on a movie about another late singer — Whitney HoustonAmerica's Next Top Model alum Yaya DaCosta is set to star in the project, directed by Houston's Waiting to Exhale co-star Angela Bassett.

Zendaya, 17, is also known for finishing second on Season 16 of Dancing with the Stars last spring. Following the Lifetime movie, she will return to the Disney Channel to headline her own sitcom, K.C. Undercover, about a high school student training to become an undercover spy.

Do you think Zendaya is the right choice for the role?

Watch This Tonight: Find out why Rizzoli & Isles is our editors' pick.

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