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Lifetime Did Aaliyah’s Legacy A Disservice With Biopic



If you watched Aaliyah: Princess of R&B movie biopic over the weekend then you may agree that the film was prematurely done.

In our opinion Lifetime and producers, including talk show maven Wendy Williams, did the late singer a disservice by ignoring her family’s wishes and continuing with the film.

One major factor? The network was denied the rights to use any of the singer’s original music. That should have been a BIG clue but dreadfully the network ignored the obvious signs in an attempt to bring the movie to fruition.

In the a nutshell, the film did little to showcase the singer’s real life and career.

In anticipation for the film, I spent much of my time this weekend watching old footage’s, interviews, music videos, and performances of the late singer. Sadly, in addition to what I already knew, I learned more about the singer through those outlets than this movie.

The film eliminated gaps and pivotal moments in the singer’s career — hence not having the ability to use her original music and lacking the family’s support.

We got little details on the singer’s young life. What was shown were things we all already knew. Aaliyah’s uncle was married to singer Gladys Knight, she performed with her aunt on tour, auditioned on Starr Search, again, things we already knew.

Although we saw a glimpse of how and when the singer met music producers, Timbaland and Missy, the recordings of hit album, One In A Million, was completely eliminated from the film. Nor did it include her popular hit 1998 single and historic video for “Are You That Somebody.” The song was featured on the then soundtrack for film ‘Dr. Dolittle.’

The movie also forgot to include her work on film “Romeo Must Die” and the soundtrack in which she was an executive producer.

As for the infamous relationship between the young star and R.Kelly at the tender age of 15 years old, the plot was drenched in speculation. It provided no actual proof or explanation on how or when the relationship,or even ended, between the two singers.

In fact, the plot was rushed and lacked development — perhaps due to the lack of information to begin with.

All we’ve ever really known about the “couple” is that the two were close, perhaps too close, and a marriage certificate was discovered only months after the singer and Kelly were forced, by her family and the record label, to stay apart. In fact, through my own research I learned that a confidentiality agreement was also signed by the two to never discuss the details on their “relationship.” Leading many to believe there was some intimacy and inappropriateness between the 15 and 27 year olds.

Another major problem? The network did a horrible job with casting if we do say so ourselves.

Lead, Alexandra Shipp, did as best she could with what information she knew of the singer. Unfortunately one thing she could have done a better job at was portraying the singer’s serene and angelic disposition — a characteristic she was known to have.

As for the casting of other well known figures, including Missy Elliot, Timbaland and Dame Dash (the singer’s boyfriend at the time of her death) the network totally dropped the ball.

The movie also did a poor job of reflecting the relationship she had with her family, specifically with her brother Rashad. Born only 17 months apart the two were extremely close. In fact, during an acceptance speech at the 2000 MTV VMAs the singer called Rashad, “My everything.”

The movie also failed to include other prominent figures in the singer’s life and artists she’d worked with including her best-friend Kidada Jones (Quincy Jones’ daughter), singer Ginuwine, Timbaland’s former collaborator and rappers Magoo, and Jay Z just to name a few.

What did we learn after watching the film? Let’s just say, not much.

Sweethearts, we’ve shared our thoughts on the film now share yours. Did you love or hate the Aaliyah movie biopic? Why or why not?


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