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Good news for all those Aaliyah fans who were livid that Zendaya Coleman was cast to play “Baby Girl” in an upcoming Lifetime biopic: the Disney star is officially out of the film.

There’s been a bit of controversy since the announcement was made that the budding starlet would take the lead in “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B,”  which was set to film this summer.  Some criticized Zendaya’s dance moves and singing ability and other’s cited her mixed racial background as a reason she shouldn’t play the late singer who died at 22 in a plane crash.  There was the news that the plot would cover the singer’s disturbing marriage to R. Kelly. And let’s not forget Aaliya’s family has been adamantly against the production from the beginning telling news outlets that they intended to halt it.

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Did the backlash have anything to do with Zendaya’s departure? So far a source has only told E! News that she left the film due to “production issues,” including problems obtaining the rights to Aaliyah’s music. Lifetime Television issued a statement via Twitter that simply said: “We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah.  Production is currently on hold.”  Zendaya’s reps have declined to comment.

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Aaliyah’s cousin, Jomo Hankerson made media rounds last week to weigh in with the family’s thoughts on Zendaya as a lead:

“I hate to see a young woman go through the kind of backlash she’s getting. [Zendaya’s] trying to get a job. It’s not her. Our problem is with Lifetime and the way they did the project,” he said. “I just think this needs theaters. This needs to be a major movie film. I would love to get Zoe Saldana [to play Aaliyah]. I think she can pull off the acting part of it and she’s obviously gorgeous and beautiful.”

Who do you think should play Aaliyah? Sound off and see our cast picks in the gallery below!   


 10 Unreleased Aaliyah Songs

WERK: Zendaya Becomes Face Of Madonna’s Material Girl Fashion Line

Angela Bassett Explains Why She Didn’t Cast Bobbi Kristina For Whitney Houston Biopic

And Another One: Aretha Franklin In Talks For Lifetime Biopic

Who We Think Should Be Cast In Aaliyah’s Biopic
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