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Drake Wishes Aaliyah A Happy Birthday (thumbnail)

Aaliyah‘s family has released a statement to the public against the making of Lifetime’s biopic on the R&B princess. Lifetime recently cast Zendaya Coleman to portray Aaliyah in a movie slated to air next year.

Read the full statement below:

“Aaliyah was more than a singer, she was -and is still – an American music icon whose legacy continues to live on and influence today’s music culture, just as Ray Charles, Notorious B.I.G., Selena and Johnny Cash.

Considering the magnitude of her fans’ affection alone, she deserves to have a tribute much more grand than a television network debut that won’t even consider the perspectives of those who were closest to Aaliyah.

Disregarding the families and dishonoring the legacies of celebrated figures who have passed on, big networks want to exploit their stories for a buck. We’re here to make it clear that it’s not okay!

Lifetime Television is trying to dictate the status of our heroes, our heroines and – in this case – our beloved Aaliyah. We implore everyone to call Lifetime Television, send emails and bombard social media so they know we demand respect for our cultural icons.

We will not sit idly by while they misrepresent and reap profits from our luminaries. There is more at stake than the public could imagine.”

I don’t know how I feel about Aaliyah’s legacy being compared to Ray Charles and Johnny Cash, but the family does have a point; this movie should not be made without family consent. Period… Hopefully the family will be able to stop the movie, same goes for Whitney Houston’s family – who is against Lifetime’s biopic on her as well.