The Nickelodeon star is playing the late R&B singer, who died in a plane crash in 2001
She kind of looks like Aaliyah, but does she have the moves? The first teaser trailer released for Lifetime’s “Aaliyah: Princess of R&B” biopic shows off Alexandra Shipp slipping into the late singer’s duds and dance moves, offering itself up for another round of scrutiny from fans.
The 15 second teaser doesn’t give away any plot points, but does show Shipp attempting to emulate some of Aaliyah’s attitude. Lifetime’s biopic of the late singer has been wrought with controversy.
Zendaya Coleman was the first actress to be cast in the role, but she bowed out due to public pressure, leaving the door open for Shipp to take her place. Shipp is best known for playing KT Rush on the Nickelodeon series “House of Anubis.”
“The Princess of R&B,” executive produced by Howard Braunstein, Debra Martin Chase and Wendy Williams, will tell the story of Aaliyah’s life, which ended when she died in an airplane crash at age 22.
In addition to having to recast the lead, producers also faced unwanted controversy after casting Chattrisse Dolabaille for the part of rapper Missy Elliott and Izaak Smith as Timbaland. Fans insisted on social media that both actors were too light-skinned for those roles.
Aaliyah’s family also expressed their disapproval of the project. Rachael Crawford and Sterling Jarvis are starring as Aaliyah’s parents Diane and Mike Haughton in the film.
“Aaliyah: Princess of R&B” will air on Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.