Alexandra Shipp to star in made-in-Toronto Aaliyah biopic

Alexandra Shipp
Alexandra Shipp, pictured in 2012. Eamonn McCormack / Getty Images

NEW YORK – Alexandra Shipp has very little time to get ready for her new role as the late R&B singer Aaliyah.

Lifetime spokeswoman Kannie Yu LaPack confirmed Friday that Shipp will play the singer, who died in a plane crash in 2001.

Shipp replaces Zendaya in the Lifetime biopic Aaliyah: Princess of R&BZendaya pulled out of production last month.

The project was briefly halted, but filming will start later this month in Toronto, leaving the 23-year-old Shipp little time to prep.

She has played roles on Nick show House of Anubis and the movie Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.

The biopic will be released this fall and will follow the multiplatinum-selling R&B star’s career from 10-year-old Star Search contestant to her death in a plane crash in the Bahamas at age 22.