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Aaliyah’s Lifetime Biopic Premieres Nov. 15

Alexandra Shipp plays late actress and singer Aaliyah in Lifetime’s biopic film, “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B.” (Photo: Christos Kalohoridis/Lifetime)

After swapping Disney actress Zendaya Coleman with Nickelodeon star Alexandra Shipp, Lifetime has set the release date for its Aaliyah biopic, which will chronicle the late singer’s rise to fame.

The network has announced the film, “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B,” will air Nov. 15.

Anthony “Tony” Grant plays Damon Dash and Alexandra Shipp is Aaliyah in Lifetime’s biography “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B,” which airs Nov. 15. (Photo: Lifetime)
The the made-for-TV movie is being executively produced by Wendy Williams.

“You can count on us to get this movie right,” Williams said on her daytime talk show, “The Wendy Williams Show.” “I want to know the things you wanna know. What happened with R. Kelly; what was going on with Dame Dash; what was Aaliyah’s personal life really like?”

Besides Shipp, Anthony “Tony” Grant is portraying Damon “Dame” Dash, who was formerly Jay-Z’s manager and business partner at Roc-a-Fella Records. Longtime Aaliyah collaborators, Grammy Award-winning singer-producers Timbaland and Missy Elliott , are being played by Izaak Smith and Chattrisse Dolabaille, respectively.

Elise Neal is playing Gladys Knight, a mentor for Aaliyah. However, there is no word on who is filling R. Kelly’s role.

It has been reported Aaliyah was in an illegal marriage with R. Kelly, made when she was 15 years old and he was 26. She died Aug. 25, 2001, in a plane crash at the age of 22. She had just completed shooting her “Rock the Boat” music video in The Bahamas.

Aaliyah was named Billboard’s 10th most famous R&B artist of the past 25 years. She released three solo albums: “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” in 1994, “One in a Million” in 1996 and “Aaliyah” in 2001. She also starred in the movies “Romeo Must Die” and “Queen of the Damned.”

The film is being made without approval or involvement from Aaliyah’s family, which has threatened to sue over the project. The movie is based on Christopher Farley’s best-seller “Aaliyah: More than a Woman.”

The Touch Radio contributed to this report.

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