Happy Birthday, Zendaya!
If you're an Aaliyah fan, chances are you're already familiar with singer Zendaya Coleman. Besides being the initial choice to play the late songbird in the controversial biopic, the multi-talented teenager turns 19 years old today (Sept. 1).
After being a fashion model and taking part in a fire Kidz Bop cover of "Hot n Cold," Zendaya's exposure grew when she starred in Disney's Shake It Up in 2010. The show went for a 75-episode run, which ignited her association with the storied brand. She now serves as one of the latest stars to join The Disney Channel's long-running list of talent. But she also has another gift: a solid two-step. She soon joined the 16th season cast of Dancing with the Stars in 2013.
Zendaya moved from sweetheart to controversy after she decided to play the titular legend in the ill-fated biopic Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B. She dropped out of the project amid a maelstrom that included disapproval from Aaliyah's family and suspiciously light-skinned actors.
"Basically, I just felt that because I love her, and because I respect her so much as an artist, I don’t want to do anything that’s half or anything that’s less for her," Zendaya said about leaving the film.
She bounced back from the backlash, returning to Disney to play the lead role in the new series K.C. Undercover. Zendaya even managed to get Timbaland to produce her second upcoming album. She's already scored a Billboard hit with 2013's "Replay" and appears on Bobby Brackins' fittingly titled track "My Jam."
Watch Bobby Brackins' "My Jam" Video Feat. Zendaya & Jeremih
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