Zendaya and Aaliyah

Zendaya at the American Music Awards on November 24, 2013; Aaiyah at the 2001 Essence Awards on April 27, 2001.

Landov; Getty Images

Lifetime is loading up on R&B biopics. Shortly after getting the gears in motion for a telepic based on the life of the late Whitney Houston, the cable network has announced plans for a project on the short-lived career of '90s phenom Aaliyah.

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Stepping into the singer's shoes is Disney Channel fixture Zendaya Coleman. The star of series "Shake It Up!" recently gained widespread recognition with a stint on "Dancing With the Stars."

Aaliyah, who topped the charts from 1994 to her death at just 22 years old in 2001, has yet to get a biopic treatment. This film, tentatively titled Aaliyah: Princess of R&B, will be based off of Christopher Farley's bestselling biography "Aaliyah: More Than a Woman."

Coleman brings more than just acting chops to the role. She is also a singer and released a self-titled debut in 2013 -- the first single selling more than 1 million copies.

The film is being produced by Aaliyah Productions, Inc., with Howard Braunstein (The Informant!) and Debra Martin Chase (The Princess Diaries) serving as executive producers. Bradley Walsh (Turn the Beat Around) will direct from a script written by Michael Elliot (Brown Sugar).