Aaliyah: Princess of R&B is a Lifetime biopic based on the life of the late R&B singer Aaliyah. It is based on the book "Aaliyah: More Than A Woman.” On June 16, 2014, it was announced that Zendaya had obtained the role of the singer, and filming would begin in Toronto, Canada a few weeks later. She is also going to record 4 of Aaliyah’s tracks for the soundtrack.
A few weeks later, Zendaya eventually dropped out of the film.
Despite the support from her fans and other celebrites, several Aaliayh fans were outraged about Z being casted as the singer. Many clamined that she was "too white/light", "looked nothing like her", and "too young". Fans suggest other contenders such as Lolita and Keisha Cante for the role.
Zendaya told TMZ that she didn't have to look like Aaliyah to portray her well. Kazembe added that Z will have plenty of time to tan over the summer.
On June 16, 2014, Zendaya tweeted: "She’s been an inspiration and influence in my whole career, her talent still shines brighter then 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. I’m just a 17 year old girl who got cast to play one of her biggest inspirations #positive"
On June 17, 2014, Bella tweeted: "@Zendaya congrats!!!! I am so proud of you! I know how much you love her! xo"
On June 17, 2014, KeKe Palmer wrote on Twitter: "I know from experience that it is not fun being attacked for doing what you love. Watch the movie first! People kill me attacking folks! Zendaya is perfect for Aaliyah. Quit playin’. I’ll never forget how I was unmercifully dragged when I was casted to play Chili! Now, that’s all I hear I look like!"
On June 19, 2014, Kazembe wrote on Twitter: "Opinions are just like [explative]…everyone’s got one!! #hatersgonnahate #motivation"