R. Kelly finally spoke on Lifetime‘s Aaliyah movie entitled, Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B. The storyline regarding R. Kelly and Aaliyah’s relationship was pretty significant in the film. During his interview on V103‘s The Big Tigger Show, Kelly said he did not watch the film. “Listen, I didn’t watch that. Once they said they was making a movie and somebody was gon’ be playing me- can’t nobody play me, homie.” Kelly said someone from the Lifetime network should have contacted him in regards to the film. He believes he had the right to either participate in the film or at least choose who was going to portray his character. “You got to know me to play me. You don’t know me, you can’t play me. It’s impossible. So why should I watch something that’s not real? When I’m real.”
One of the film’s storylines was R. Kelly and Aaliyah’s marriage. In 1994, a marriage certificate was released to the public, and it proved R. Kelly married Aaliyah when she was just 15 years old. The marriage certificate stated Kelly was 27 years old, and Aaliyah’s age was listed as 18 years old. The illegal marriage was annulled by Aaliyah’s parents, due to the fact that she was a minor. To date, Kelly has always denied marrying Aaliyah. During his radio interview, Kelly did not speak on the producers’ decision to include his marriage to Aaliyah in the film.
Talk show host, Wendy Williams, was also one of the producers for Aaliyah’s biopic. After the movie aired on television, Lifetime, Wendy Williams, and all parties involved with the biopic, were highly criticized. Several factors affected how the film was displayed. One factor, in particular, was the absence of Aaliyah’s original music in the film. Aaliyah’s family and record label refused to release the rights to use her music or images for the Lifetime movie. Critics even argued that the film “barely scratched the surface of how Aaliyah changed the course of pop, hip hop, and R&B music in the 1990s.” No one from Aaliyah’s family were involved in the making of Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B. The singer’s friends and former colleagues were not involved in the production of her movie either. Some of the people who were instrumental in Aaliyah’s career, stated the movie producers never asked for their participation. Aaliyah’s family feels that the late entertainer’s story should be depicted on a much larger Hollywood forum.