In the midst of controversy, Disney star Zendaya Coleman has backed out of playing Aaliyah in the Lifetime biopic about the late singer, tentatively titled Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B.
Lifetime announced Zendaya's departure on Twitter earlier today saying, "We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold."
We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold.— LifetimePR (@LifetimeTV_PR) June 29, 2014
Zendaya's departure from the project is just another blow to the already-troubled production, which has faced a storm of opposition from Aaliyah fans and faced difficulties securing the rights to Aaliyah's music.
The 17-year old Zendaya, a successful singer and recording artist herself, was set to re-record some of Aaliyah's hits for the film, but Lifetime faced a number of obstacles in their pursuit of the music rights.
It is unclear at this point how Lifetime will proceed or when production will begin again.
Aaliyah, who had a very successful career as an R&B singer and a burgeoning career as an actress, tragically died in a plane crash in the Bahamas in 2001 at the age of 22.