Lifetime has cast Disney star, Zendaya Coleman, in the original biopic of the late songstress Aaliyah Dana Haughton. The movie will be based on Christopher Farley's bestselling book, Aaliyah: More Than A Woman. We all remember the tragic death of Aaliyah and eight others in a deadly plane crash off the coast of the Bahamas back in 2001. Aaliyah was 22-years-young and one of the R&B industry's rising stars.
Zendaya Coleman was more than eager to receive the opportunity to portray such an influential person. She loves everything about Aaliyah and has stated during an interview for her single, "Replay" and on Twitter as well, that Aaliyah is one of her biggest inspirations for her style of dress and music. Zendaya will be reportedly recording four of Aaliyah's singles.
I love Zendaya to death and I don't mind her portraying Aaliyah. She also has a beautifully range-restricted voice. I'm concerned about her rerecording Aaliyah's songs. Some of her tracks are classic and should not be rerecorded, especially if they will be played in the film. Songs like, "The One I Gave My Heart To," "Let Me Know," and "One in a Million" should remain untouched.
Controversy has already sparked over Zendaya, a half Caucasian and half African American young lady, portraying Aaliyah, a fully African American woman. When I learned of the news, I too initially thought she [Zendaya] was too "fair" skinned to portray an African American woman. However, I think these thoughts are one of the main reasons prejudice, racism and hatred still exists. I believe if she is the best candidate for the role, Zendaya should not be shunned out of this career making opportunity because she isn't "Black" enough.
It is no surprise that I'm going to bring up another R&B artist who was rumored to play Aaliyah if a biopic was to come about, Keshia Chanté. If you do not know the name, just Google her. As far as looks, I think Keshia would have been a more appropriate selection. I cannot comment on her acting skills, but she resembles Aaliyah way more than Zendaya does.
When the thought of a TV biopic was thrown in the air two years ago, the Haughton family was against it. Nothing has changed. According to TMZ, the Haughton family was never contacted by the network [Lifetime] to produce this film. The family has vowed to ban Lifetime's use of Aaliyah's music in the film. The family is not against an Aaliyah film altogether, however, they believe Aaliyah was too big of a star for "made-for-TV" movies. If I was Aaliyah's mother, I would be livid. I do not think it's right that Lifetime did not reach out to the family to seek their approval. Their actions are disrespectful to the Haughton family. As a fan, I would love nothing more than to see a film on the late songstress; however, it needs to be done the right way.
I wish Zendaya nothing but the best of luck with this project. She's going to need tough skin to play this role because no matter if she nails a depiction of Aaliyah to the T, someone is going to have something negative to say. They will discredit her and drag her name through the mud. I hope she is ready.
What do you think about an Aaliyah biopic?
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