It’s been 12 years since the loss of America’s sweetheart Aaliyah Haughton. Everyone remembers where they were when they heard the shocking news that her plane went down in the Bahamas. To loose such a beloved star at such a young age, shocked the world. And while one of the biggest stars on the planet, Whitney Houston had been known to have a hard lifestyle, fans were still devastated at the loss of one the industries finest, two years ago, when she drowned in the Beverly Hilton hotel’s bathroom tub. Coroners determined cocaine use and heart disease attributed to her death.
Well, both stars will finally have their life stories brought to the small screen this year when their biopics are made. But, not without major controversy.
Back in 2012, Canadian R&B singer Keshia Chante (pictured below dressed as Aaliyah) , who is now the host of BET’s 106 & Park, talked about being approached by a production team interested in bringing the singer’s life to the small screen. However, Keshia wasn’t too fond of playing Aaliyah — not because she didn’t want to do it, but because Aaliyah’s family weren’t ready to re-live the pain of losing their loved one.
“I got a call from Aaliyah’s lawyer and Aaliyah’s family. And from my understanding, there are people trying to create a movie and Aaliyah’s family are still mourning her loss and aren’t ready to share her story and create a film. So there’s a bit of back and forth thing with her family and with creative people.” Keshia went on to say that she would love to do the film, but only with the blessing of Aaliyah’s family, so things at that point were at a stand-still.
It seemed unlikely that the movie would be made, especially with Aaliyah’s brother, Rashad Haughton, saying there was no one alive who could do his sister justice. But then several mysterious tweets from Barry Hankerson, Aaliyah’s uncle and former manager, indicated VH1 will produce a biopic, scheduled for a 2014 release. Apparently, Aaliyah’s family did not control her estate at the time of her death. Her management company (owned by her uncle) had control. Therefore, he can legally make a biopic about her life against their wishes. Sad. But true.
While the idea of a biopic got fans excited, the tweets appeared to be fake due to conflicting information, and no verification from VH1 whatsoever.
However, that doesn’t mean the Aaliyah movie is not happening. As recently as this month, actress Tristin Mays alerted the world to the fact that she had actually auditioned for the part of Aaliyah in an upcoming flick but didn’t get the role. She posted a collage of her and Aaliyah on her instagram with the caption:
“Today, I can’t be upset that I didn’t book the role I worked so hard for. This may have been the most difficult, emotional, inspiring, and lengthy audition process I’ve ever experienced … I invested every ounce of my body mind and soul into this process and I can honestly say I’m proud of myself … A huge thank you to everyone who believed in me and spoke up for me in the room. And a huge congratulations to everyone in the cast!#TheAaliyahStory.” Tristin has since deleted the post including a collage of herself and Aaliyah, but it wasn’t the only thing to grab fans’ attention.
Not to be outdone, 106 and Park host Keisha Chante let fans know that she is still in the running for the part of Aaliyah. Just last week, Keshia posted anAaliyah-inspired photo of herselfwith the caption “The Audition.”
She also covered Aaliyah’s hit ‘One in A Million,’ and did a great job! If you watch her past music video’s you will know that Keisha is not a strong dancer and that was a MAJOR part of who Aaliyah was. But, the girl can sing? Watch the video below:
All we know is VH1 is currently casting and no decisions have been made on who will portray Aaliyah. Rumor has it R&B singer Cassie (Diddy’s fiancé) is also in the running. And we all know Cassie can kill a dance floor……
Who Knows? However, it looks like the film will be made this year, with a tentative release date of Christmas time.
In other biopic news, Whitney Houston’s story will be told, but not without a fight from her mother and her estate, who are venomously against it!
Whitney Houston’s tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown will be the subject of a Lifetime Network biopic.
But fans of the late pop icon worried that the movie will prove too salacious can be comforted that Houston’s former “Waiting to Exhale” co-star will be at the helm.
Angela Bassett, who worked closely with Houston in the 1995 romantic dramedy, ‘Waiting To exhale’ will direct the TV film, tentatively titled, “Whitney Houston.”
“I have such regard for both Whitney’s and Bobby’s amazing talents and accomplishments; and I feel a responsibility in the telling of their story,” Bassett said in a statement. “Their humanity and bond fascinates us all.
“I’m beyond excited to have this opportunity to go behind the camera and into their world.”
While Angela may be excited, Whitney’s estate is not! Her mother recently spoke out against the film, saying that this would never happen if her daughter were alive. And her daughter deserves nothing less than a major motion picture, not a lifetime movie. Miss Houston has threatened to sue the network if they decide to move forward with the project. So….apparently they don’t have a problem with a biopic, just with a tv movie. Perhaps they should call on Salim Akil and Mara Brok Akil (Sparkle) and see if they are willing to bring it to theaters??