Alexandra Shipp to star as Aaliyah in Lifetime biopic

The 23-year-old actress will portray the late singer Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in 2001.
By Annie Martin Follow @littlemannie   |   July 18, 2014 at 4:48 PM

LOS ANGELES, July 18 (UPI) -- Alexandra Shipp will star as Aaliyah in a new Lifetime biopic.

The 23-year-old actress has been tapped to replace Zendaya Coleman, who dropped out of the project in June. Television host Wendy Williams has signed on to the film as executive producer, and announced Shipp's casting Friday on Twitter.

"I'm excited to exec produce the Aaliyah @lifetimetv movie w/ @DebraMChase," Williams wrote. "Prod starts later this month and @AlexShipppp will play Aaliyah."

The movie is titled Aaliyah: Princess of R&B, and is based on the Christopher John Farley biography, Aaliyah: More Than a Woman. The late R&B singer released three successful albums, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number (1994), One in a Million (1996) and Aaliyah (2001), before her death in a plane crash at age 22.

Shipp is a former Nickelodeon star who appeared on network series Switched at Birth, Victorious and House of Anubis. She also guest starred on MTV series Awkward., and is scheduled to appear in VH1 television movie Drumline 2: A New Beat later this year.

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