Oakland native Zendaya has been tabbed to play the late pop star, Aaliyah, in an upcoming Lifetime TV movie.
The 17-year-old singer-actor who got her big break in the Disney Channel sitcom, "Shake It Up," and was a dazzling presence on Season 16 of "Dancing With the Stars," has signed on to portray the singer who died at the age of 22 in a 2001 plane crash in the Bahamas. The film will be based on the book "Aaliyah: More Than a Woman" by Wall Street Journal editor Christopher John Farley.
Upon release of the news, Zendaya tweeted: "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."
Zendaya, whose 2013 single, "Replay," spent 21 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100, will reportedly record four songs for the project.
The Aaliyah biopic is just the latest entry in what has become a very productive show-biz career for Zendaya. Next week, the Disney Channel will debut "Zapped," a movie in which the former student at Oakland School for the Arts plays a teen named Zoey who discovers a phone app that can control the opposite sex.