First Look: Alexandra Shipp As Aaliyah + The Biopic Air Date

September 18, 2014  |  


Source: Lifetime

I know many of you had your doubts about Alexandra Shipp playing the role of Aaliyah. And while some of you will never be happy with this casting, considering the family is not behind the Lifetime biopic, perhaps a picture of Shipp in the role might convince you that this movie will be worthwhile.

Today, Wendy Williams tweeted the first image of Alexandra playing the late R&B singer.


And then Lifetime sent out a press release with even more details.

“Before Beyoncé and before Rihanna, self-proclaimed “street but sweet” Aaliyah was poised to become a global icon with top-selling albums, a hot movie career and an adoring fan base. The film follows the beautiful and talented performer’s inspirational journey, from her debut on Star Search at the age of ten to the challenges she faced during her rise to become the Princess of R&B. On August 25, 2001, at the height of her popularity, her life was tragically cut short when a plane carrying the singer and some of her video crew crashed after takeoff from a Bahamian runway. Although just 22-years-old at the time of her death, Aaliyah continues to lead a legacy as Billboard’s tenth most famous R&B artist of the past 25 years and one of the recording industry’s most successful artists in history.

Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B also stars:

Rachael Crawford and Sterling Jarvis as Aaliyah’s parents Diane and Mike Haughton; 

A.J. Saudin (Degrassi: The Next Generation) as Aaliyah’s brother Rashad Haughton;

Lyriq Bent (Saw IV) as her uncle and music manager Barry Hankerson. 

The film also stars Anthony Grant as Damon Dash, 

Izaak Smith (Mirror, Mirror) as Timbaland, 

Elise Neal (The Soul Man) as Gladys Knight and 

Chattrisse Dolabaille (Home Away) as Missy Elliot.

Source: Lifetime

I think this dude above here has got to be Damon Dash.

Interestingly, I did noticed that R. Kelly’s name was missing from the list of characters, which is interesting because original reports claimed they were going to touch on this relationship. But either someone’s lawyer got to the network or Lifetime had some type of moral awakening.

So, after seeing the pictures, are you more or less convinced?

“Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B” airs on Saturday, November 15.

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  • I_am_a_Gladiator/Scandalista

    I dont see what the big deal is about making a biopic about her. All the greats have them and this movie can introduce her music and brief legacy to the younger generation who dont know much about her. I think the family needs to get over themselves. Its not that they dont want a movie made, they just mad that its not on a big screen so they can profit off of it. Smh. I cant wait to see the movie. Just hope they do it justice. And I thought Lifetime dropped out and another network took over the movie??

  • I_am_a_Gladiator/Scandalista

    I just googled AJ Saudin and daaaayum he grew up to be foine!

  • L.B.A.

    Oh hush up people and watch. It’s just a movie. No one said it had to be the one and only movie. If it sucks, maybe someone else will remake it better some day.

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  • YupISaidIt

    Someone at Lifetime is looking for a check….because regardless of what the fans and her family feel…they looking for the one that talks the loudest…good ol BEN FRANKLIN…hence the quick release date. I hope no one tunes in to this garbage and that their ratings fall below projected numbers…but the only way that can happen is if you don’t watch it….if you say I’m just gonna watch to see how it does..BAM they still got you whether you like it or not. The exact minute you tune in…you can hear the cha ching and that big round table of Lifetime folks are clapping……I loved Aaliyah and her music but I would like to see it done right I will not be watching this “just to see”…..

  • bee


  • Martin

    I love Aaliyah. I’m probably going to watch this.

  • Medusa

    Not watching. Horrible casting, family against it, seems rushed.. I won’t be surprised that it sucks.

  • Doll Phace

    Whoomp whoomp whoomp it’s gonna be a bomb. I know Aaliyah doin all kinda flips in her grave rite now

  • Gul Bahar

    it is going to be horrible. just like the brittany murphy story was HORRIBLE.

  • random

    I don’t plan to watch this but what is with Lifetime and these “biopic” movies lately. I heard the “saved by the bell” and “britney murphy” movie were horrible so I can just imagine how ad this one will be. Which is a shame because I will always love Aaliyah. RIP Lifetime needs to do better and stop making these movies and stick with their usual stuff.

    • Mackenzie

      The “Saved By The Bell” & “Brittany Murphy Story” movies were horrible! I will not be watching this one or the Whitney movie. Lifetime needs to stop with the unauthorized biopic movies and Wendy Williams needs to be ashamed of herself and her production company for actually agreeing to produce this movie. WTF, was she thinking when she signed on to do this?

  • Ash

    they should used lolita price

    • Mula

      no that girl doesn’t look anything like Aaliyah that girl nose is so big and wide her lips is to big and she looks manly oh did I forget to mention she is heavier then Aaliyah and she looks to old Aaliyah was a teenager for a large portion of her career and she was only 22 when she died also that Lolita girl doesn’t have any experience in acting nor does she have experience in music.

  • mmmdot

    Seeing the hot ghetto mess that Lifetime made of the Brittany Murphy movie just FURTHER ENTRENCHED my belief that not only do Aaliyah and Whitney Houston deserve better than TV movies–they definitely deserve better then a LIFETIME TV movie. I swear to god every single thing that channel even thinks about doing turns out ratchet–always. SMH. I don’t even think I could hate watch these movies–I’m going to boycott so Lifetime can stop trying to drag the memory of these deceased people who can no longer speak for themselves down into the gutter with them. They need to stick where their bread is buttered–re-runs of bad movies of the week.

  • 0neInAMilli1210

    WTF. They’re Still Going With This Movie? SMFH. Straight Disrespect Towards Aaliyah’s Immediate Family…

  • StraightShooter

    I will not be watching. I didn’t watch the Brittany Murphy movie and I won’t watch this or the Whitney Houston movie. Lifetime seems to just be throwing the films together.

    • 0neInAMilli1210

      Especially Since The Immediate Family Doesn’t Want A Movie… Well In Aaliyah’s Case, Her Immediate Family Doesn’t Want A Movie…

      • Chris Stockton

        Actually, Brittany’s mom was also against a biopic for her as well. But Aaliyah’s extended family (uncle who owns her label) will be putting out a separate biopic for a theatrical release that will include her unreleased songs as a soundtrack. It’ll be interesting to say the least.

        • 0neInAMilli1210

          I Thought Brittany’s Dad Didn’t Want It Either… It’s Still Disrespectful To Go After Someone Else’s Wishes… Also, Do You Know Who Is Playing Her In The One Barry Is Making?

          • Chris Stockton

            Apparently this girl named B Simone. She doesn’t favor Aaliyah that much in my opinion. meh.. -_-

            • 0neInAMilli1210

              Oh Lawd.. Every “Looks” Like Aaliyah. Her & Alexandra Shipp Does Not Look Like Her. Why Can’t They Just Let Her R.I.P? It Is Obvious That They Don’t Care That The Haughtons Are Still Grieving. All This For A Paycheck… Smh

  • Slim

    She looks more like Kim Kardashian in the last picture than Aaliyah.

  • 510Sunshine

    I’ll watch it, although I fully expect for it to be horribly produced. Lifetime did a TERRIBLE job on the Brittany Murphy movie. And, I have a feeling this will be just as bad. Hopefully I will end up pleasantly surprised.

    • Lissa329

      Omg I couldn’t even watch that mess all the way. And that God-awful “What is Love?” remake they used in the preview?! omg.

      • Nickkinick

        Me either. Watching the little bit I watched of the Brittany Murphy movie made me very leary of Lifetime doing Whitney or Aaliyah. I too hope to be pleasantly surprised…but I doubt it!

    • Patrick Keen

      LOL, Yes! Those cheesy Cher and Dionne actresses with the dollar wigs! UGH, it was sooo bad! Hate Lifetime biopics!

      • 510Sunshine

        OMG… The wigs were so bad!!! LMAO!

  • cantcommittoahairstyle

    Nooooooo!!! Sweet Jesus make it stop.
    And you know who’s biopic you could’ve produced Mr. Williams…….your own! Now that’s some mess I would like to see.

  • Maggie

    I am still wondering why this movie had to be made? Did I miss something. As far as there being no Robert Kelly good I don’t see the need to explore pedophilia, that is what is was plain and simple..

    • Chris Stockton

      Oh, shut the hell up! There was much more to Aaliyah’s legacy than just her relationship to R Kelly at 16. If you don’t care for Aaliyah, then don’t watch the movie. Plain and Simple. smh..

      • Guest

        Thank you.

      • mmmdot

        Exactly. Thank you.

      • Maggie

        You are a troll who needs to be fed. I grew up i her generation. My point was is there anything that was so secret that more that 10 years later a movie needs to be made? You need to do something else other than be negative to get likes because you obviously failed to read the article and my correlated comment.

  • Lissa329

    it can’t be that good seeing as though they just chose this girl last month and its going to premiere less than 2 months from today. But I will watch. You know this movie is going to tell the story of Aaliyah that we all know. I wonder if they have the music.

    • ali

      The girl was chose in June or July but I agree the time they are gonna put it out

      • Lissa329

        not this girl.

        • Chris Stockton

          The 1st girl was chosen in May. The second girl was chosen over the July 4th weekend, according to Wendy Williams. They wrapped up filming over the Labor Day weekend.

    • StraightShooter

      I think I read that the family is not releasing the music and that Lifetime is recutting the songs.

  • Trini_Angel

    I still think it was disrespectful to release a movie without her family’s consent

    • cinna

      fyi- most movies and books are written and filmed without the parents or the persons concent

  • IllyPhilly

    are you serious, November of this year? wow they must be just phoning this one in if they just finished casting.

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  • septbeauty

    Hmmm, okay. I’ll watch for the sake of watching, but this film has CHEESY written all over it smh. Can’t wait for the version her family’s working on.

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