Zendaya Coleman has thrown her support behind Alexandra Shipp as the actress prepares to take over the lead role in the upcoming Aaliyah biopic.
Coleman was hired to play the late R&B superstar in a new TV movie about her life, but pulled out over fears the project "felt a little rushed".
The actress also revealed she was bombarded with negative comments from Aaliyah fans who insisted she was not right for the role, and she hopes her replacement, Nickelodeon regular Shipp, will not have the same problems.
She says, "Congratulations to the new woman playing Aaliyah. I only hope that she does not have to deal with half the haters that I had to deal with. And remember that we are all human beings trying to do what we love to do. Let's practise motivation and love, not discrimination and hate. Alright."
Aaliyah: Princess of R&B is scheduled to debut on the Lifetime network later this year (14). The singer died in a plane crash in the Bahamas in August, 2001.