Zendaya Coleman, 17, has been cast to play R&B singer Aaliyah in a Lifetime biopic.

Zendaya Excited To Play Aaliyah

Zendaya, a Disney channel star, is more than excited to take on the role, calling Aaliyah her “biggest inspiration” on Twitter.

“She’s been an inspiration and influence in my whole career, her talent still shines brighter than ever, all I wanna 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 #babygirl #forever #OneInAMillion,” Zendaya tweeted on Monday after the news was announced.

The film is based off Christopher John Farley’s biography of the singer Aaliyah: More Than a Woman, and will be helmed by Brown Sugar writer Michael Elliot and director Bradley Walsh.

Zendaya Casting Backlash

Zendaya’s casting has ruffled a few feathers, with fans doubting her ability to accurately portray the singer who died tragically at the age of 22 in 2001.

Other commentators tweeted their own ideal casting, with many pointing to Keke Palmer as their first choice.

Keke Palmer Defends Zendaya Casting

Palmer recently starred in the TLC biopic as Chili and addressed her fans about Zendaya’s casting, defending the actress and commenting on the backlash she experienced after her casting was announced.

“I know from experience that it is not fun being attacked for doing what you love,” Palmer wrote.

While some might be upset, others have welcomed the casting news, as Zendaya certainly has the skills to pull it off. As an actress, Zendaya starred on Disney’s Shake It Up! from 2010 to 2013 alongside Bella Thorne. The two young actresses also co-starred in a Disney Channel Original movie Frenemies, and Zendaya will also star in this summer’s Disney Channel Original movie Zapped.

Outside of acting, Zendaya has been paving her way in the music industry with the release of her first album, Zendaya, in 2013 and a hit single, “Replay.”

Lifetime's Aaliyah biopic is set to air in the fall.

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