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Lifetime finds new star for Aaliyah biopic

By Chancellor Agard, EW.com
updated 4:56 PM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Actress Alexandra Shipp will portray the late singer Aaliyah in Lifetime's TV biopic.
Actress Alexandra Shipp will portray the late singer Aaliyah in Lifetime's TV biopic.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Alexandra Shipp is the new star of Lifetime's Aaliyah biopic
  • She replaces Zendaya Coleman in the TV film
  • The project is based on the biography "Aaliyah: More Than A Woman"

(EW) -- Lifetime has found its replacement for Zendaya Coleman.

Alexandra Shipp will play late R&B singer Aaliyah in Lifetime's upcoming biopic "Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B" (working title), EW has confirmed.

Zendaya Coleman exits Lifetime's Aaliyah biopic

The planned film is set to premiere this fall and will be executive produced by Debra Martin Chase and talk show host Wendy Williams.

Williams broke the news earlier today when she tweeted:

Shipp's previous film credits include Nickelodeon's "House of Anubis," and guest appearances on "Awkward," "Switched At Birth," and "Victorious."

Why is it so difficult to make a biopic?

Zendaya Coleman ("Shake It Up") was originally cast in the lead role, but the 17-year-old actress dropped out of the project in June. Coleman, whose "Replay" spent 21 weeks on Billboard Hot 100, was originally set to sing in the film as well. No word yet on whether or not Shipp will also sing in the film.

"Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B" is based on Wall Street Journal editor Christopher John Farley's biography, "Aaliyah: More Than A Woman."

See the original story at EW.com.

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