Aaliyah Aaliyah

Rumor Mill: Aaliyah Biopic in the Works

Aaliyah movie poster

The cats out of the bag (sort of) in regards to an Aaliyah biopic. As we shout, "it's about time!" We're still in the dark as to when it'll be airing and who will be honing her signature look, or if this rumor is real. Ever since the R&B princess' former manager posted the about mock poster featuring the VH1 logo on Instagram last December, the rumor mill started churning. However after months of speculation it was Logan Browning's good friend Tristan Mays to officiate the suspected rumors. Posting a juxtaposed picture of her and the late singer, she explained how "emotional, inspiring, and lengthy" the audition process was on her Instagram:

“Normally I wouldn’t do something like this. But a very close friend of mine, @loganlaurice, gave me the courage to speak up about something that’s been pending and sitting on my heart. 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. Getting the chance to portray someone I’ve always loved and admired so much was a blessing every single step of the way. I invested every ounce of my body mind and soul into this process and I can honestly say I’m proud of myself. God definitely has something incredible in store for me. 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. Like Logan said, you’re satisfied no matter the outcome of things that aren’t in your control. -Tristin Mays"

That's where our detective scoop ends. With no official word from VH1 we just have to keep our fingers crossed and imaginations wondering if it'll actually happen. With no word on who's "One in a Million," we have our own actress wish list for the role. If they ever put the casting powers in our hands, here's who we'd give the role of the songstress gone too soon—flip the page to see who.

All Photos Credit: Getty (unless otherwise noted)

Keshia Chante as Aaliyah

Keshia Chante

She's already been rumored to be casted in the movies a few years ago and we see why. She has the talent to give off a great Aaliyah adaptation. 

Lolita Prica as Aaliyah

Lolita Price

The upcoming actress could pass for Aaliyah's younger sister. Their resemblance is scary how uncanny it is.

Photo Credit: Instagram

Keke Palmer as Aaliyah

Keke Palmer

She can sing, dance, and is transparent enough to sell the image of Aaliyah although there's no resemblance. She sold us on Chilli when everyone doubted her, we think she can do the same with Aaliyah.

Freema as Aaliyah

Freema Agyeman

The Guess Who actress has a weird similarity to the songstress' look. We wouldn't be mad if she landed the dream role.

Zoe Kravitz as Aaliyah

Zoe Kravitz

The daughter to Lisa Bonet has the resume to give this role justice. She not only knows the work it takes to be in front of the camera but also behind so she's go hard to portray her story right.

SOlange as Aaliyah

Solange

There's already rumors that if there ever was one to be made, she's be on top of the list and we agree. 

Taylour Paige as Aaliyah

Taylour Paige

If Taylour can land her first big role as a lead in a hit show, we have faith she can transform into Aaliyah.

Photo Credit: Instagram

Angel Haze as Aaliyah

Angel Haze

The rapstress sold us on her recreated look of the late singer so we'd love to see how she transform reading a few lines from the film.

Dania Ramirez

Dania Ramirez

This Latina actress is a phenomenal actress and her versatility gives us hope that she would own her roles as a fictional Aaliyah.

Kylie Bunbury as Aaliyah

Kylie Bunbury

We're rooting for her career to take off and her landing the role of Aaliyah might do just that.

BriaMurphy as Aaliyah

Bria Murphy

If Bria snagged anything from her father, we're hoping its her acting chops. If she can snag this part, it may launch her long overdue career.

Kat Graham as Aaliyah

Kat Graham

The actress, singer, and dancer has all the criteria's need to play the role. All she needs is a little make up and we'd rock with her as a fictional Aaliyah.

Tessa Thompson as Aaliyah

Tessa Thompson

She shared the screen with a-list actresses in For Colored Girls, we think she deserves her own lead role in The Aaliyah Story.

Katlynn Simone as Aaliyah

Katlynn Simone

She has the pipes and acting chops to transform into the role of Aaliyah and make us believe her. 
Jessica Lucas as Aaliyah

Vanessa Morgan

It's time to see a new face, take over a ginormous role, we could see her honing up to her craft and selling Aaliyah's story.

Teyonah Parris as Aaliyah

Teyonah Parris

The Mad Men actress is gaining fast popularity with her current role, we're here for her pausing her current role to play the singer.

Sevyn Streeter as Aaliyah

 

Sevyn Streeter

Sevyn can sing, dance, and mimic her mannerisms. Plus she gave us a snippet of her acting chops in her "nEXt" video and she wasn't bad. A few more acting classes and we'd believe her as the songstress she already idols.

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Aaliyah during TNT Presents - A Gift of Song - New York - January 1, 1997 in New York City, New York, United States.
KMazur/WireImage

Fans Rally For Aaliyah's Discography To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

As another day passes without Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms, fans are looking for answers.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #FreeAaliyahMusic appeared on Twitter in light of song battles between Swizz Beats vs. Timbaland and Ne-Yo vs. Johnta Austin. The latter opponents played their collaborations with the late singer, proving Baby Girl's dynamic relevancy in the age of modern R&B. As songs like "I Don't Wanna" and "Come Over" picked up plays on YouTube, the hashtag pointed out the tragedy of her songs not existing on platforms like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

Aaliyah's only album on multiple platforms is her 1994 debut, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. Other albums like the platinum-selling One in A Million and Aaliyah are being held in a vault of sorts along with other unmixed vocals by her uncle and founder of Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson.

Hankerson has built up a mysterious yet haunting aura over the years due to his refusal to release Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms. Reasons are unknown but Stephen Witt's 2016 investigation revealed business deals like the shift in distribution from  Jive Records to Atlantic helped Hankerson take ownership of the singer's masters. The deal was made in 1996 when Blackground featured artists like Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, then-production duo Timbaland and Magoo as well as Missy Elliott.

Sadly, Aaliyah's music isn't the only recordings lost in the shuffle. Recordings from Timbaland and Toni Braxton have been hidden from the world with both taking legal action against the label over the years. There's also JoJo, who had to break from the label after they refused to release her third album. The singer recently re-recorded her first two albums.

With Aaliyah's music getting the attention it deserves, Johnta Austin discussed the singer's impact on R&B today. "It was amazing, she was incredible from top to bottom," he told OkayPlayer of working with the singer on "Come Over" and "I Don't Wanna." "I don't think Aaliyah gets the vocal credit that she deserves. When she was on it, she had the riffs, she had everything."

Earlier this year, an account impersonating Hankerson claimed her music would arrive on streaming platforms January 16, on what would've been her 41st birthday. A docuseries called the Aaliyah Diaries was also promoted for a release on Netflix.

Of course, it was far from the truth. Fans can enjoy selected videos and songs on YouTube, but it's clear they want more.

 

Aaliyah’s music is the landmark for a lot of your favs not only was she ahead of her time with her futuristic sounds she also was a fashion Icon dancer and phenomenal actress . The future generations need be exposed to her artistry and pay homage .#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/LxZfxcqRgF

— Black Clover (@la_alchemist) March 29, 2020

Her first #1 solely based on AirPlay! She was the first ! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/BHlANZjCGZ

— (@hodeciii) March 29, 2020

Makes no sense for someone still so influential to be hidden. Many try to emulate her. On Spotifys This is Aaliyah playlist, theres some great tracks not on her main Spotify #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/vLqLTVxqO9

— Blackity Black⁷ (@ClaudBuzzzz) March 29, 2020

Aaliyah is trending once again. She deserves endless flowers. This is true impact y’all. Her voice, her sound, her music...She’s been gone for 2 decades and y’all see the love for her is even stronger! We miss you baby girl! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/ALDcT0ZQxR

— A A L I Y A H (@forbbygrlaali) March 30, 2020

Aaliyah said she wanted to be remembered for her music and yet most of it is not on streaming services #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/zwk0AWMCoE

— RJR (@MyNewEssence96) March 29, 2020

aaliyah’s gems like more than a woman deserve to be in streaming sites #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/mM2GWEg1pe

— k (@grandexrocky) March 30, 2020

I saw #FreeAaliyahMusic and IMMEDIATELY jumped into action! I can’t express how betrayed I felt when we were supposed to have all her music on Spotify by her birthday. Her discography is deeply underestimated and we need to make it right for our babygirl!pic.twitter.com/GfxBeJxUY1

— jerrica✨ (@jerricaofficial) March 29, 2020

Before Megan The Stallion drove the boat...

Aaliyah rocked the boat...

#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/iXNwssD3sY

— Al’Bei (@_albei) March 29, 2020

i think we should have that conversation #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/cGl269tuTr

— AALIYAH LEGION (@AaliyahLegion) April 1, 2020

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Singers Adrienne Bailon (L) and Kiely Williams of the 'Cheetah Girls' pose for photos around Mercedes Benz Fashion Week held at Smashbox Studios on October 18, 2007 in Culver City, California.
Katy Winn/Getty Images for IMG

Kiely Williams Explains Fallout With Adrienne Bailon Houghton And Alleged Fight With Raven-Symonè

Our current isolated way of life has given some plenty of time for reflection like Kiely Williams of the former girl group 3LW and The Cheetah Girls (ask your kids). The tales of both successful groups have been told time after time by fans in YouTube documentaries and members of each collective but Williams has decided to share her side of the story.

Williams hopped on Live Monday (March 30) where she discussed her former friendship with The Real co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton and the infamous chicken throwing fight with actress/singer Naturi Naughton. The mother of one didn't pinpoint exactly why she fell out with Houghton but did point out how she wouldn't be interested in appearing on her talk show.

"I don't think Adrienne wants to have live TV with me," Williams said. "'Cause she's gon' have to say, 'Yes Kiely, I did pretend to be your best friend. Now, I am not.' You were either lying then or you're lying now. You either were my best friend and now you're just not claiming me or you were pretending [to be my best friend."

The two remained friends after Naughton was kicked out of 3LW, the platinum-selling group known for 2000s pop hits like "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "Playas Gon' Play." Williams and Houghton were eventually picked to be apart of The Cheetah Girls with then-Disney darling Raven-Symonè and dancer Sabrina Bryan.

Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

Moving onto The Cheetah Girls, Williams also denied claims she got into fights with Raven-Symonè on the set of The Cheetah Girls films and never outed her as a teen. The rumor about Symonè and Williams was reportedly started by Symonè's former co-star Orlando Brown.

Symonè has often shared positive memories about The Cheetah Girls and their reign but did imply during an episode of The View how co-star Lynn Whitfield kept her from losing her cool on set.

On a lighter note, Symonè, Houghton and Naughton have kept in contact with Naughton and Houghton putting their differences aside during an appearance on The Real. 

Symonè and Houghton also reunited at the Women's March in Los Angeles in January. During Bailon's performance at the event, the two briefly performed the Cheetah Girls' classic, "Together We Can."

Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

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Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Kelis Announces ‘Cooked With Cannabis’ Show Will Premiere On Netflix

Kelis is taking her chef talents to Netflix. The musician will host a food competition show titled Cooked With Cannabis that’ll premiere on the very-fitting April 20 (4/20). According to NME, the show will span six episodes and be co-hosted by chef Leather Storrs.

Describing the opportunity as a “dream come true” since she’s a major supporter of the streaming service, Kelis took to Instagram to share how cannabis and cooking is one of her many creative passions. “As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today’s society,” the mother-of-two writes. “In this country, many things have been used systemically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together.”

Each episode will place three chefs against each other as they craft three-course meals with cannabis as the central ingredient. Each episode’s winner takes home $10,000. Guests will play an integral role in who takes home the cash prize. Too $hort, and El-P are just a few of this season's guests.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I'm really excited to announce my new show, Cooked with Cannabis on @Netflix!! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my Netflix, so this is a dream come true. Interestingly, this was one of those things that I didn't go looking for, it kind of came to me. As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today's society. In this country, many things have been used systematically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together. I hope you all will tune in, it's definitely going to be a good time! We launch on 4/20! XO, Kelis

A post shared by Kelis (@kelis) on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:57am PDT

In a previous Lenny Letter profile, Kelis shared she comes from a line of culinary influences beginning with her mother who owned a catering service. In 2008, the “Milkshake” singer sought to refine her cooking skills by enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu school. Receiving a certificate as a trained saucier, the New York native put her expertise to the test during pop-up restaurants in her native city, created a hot sauce line, and co-owns a sustainable farm in Quindio, Colombia.

“Food is revolutionary because it is the one and only international language. It’s the most human thing you can partake in,” she said in an interview with Bon Appetit. “We are the only species that cooks.”

This isn’t Kelis’ first foray into the reality-cooking television world. In 2014, she partnered with the Cooking Channel for Saucy and Sweet and published the "My Life on a Plate" cookbook a year later.

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