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Yaya DaCosta to portray icon Whitney Houston in Lifetime's biopic

Yaya DaCosta picked to portray Whitney Houston in biopic
Photo by Rommel Demano/Getty Images

The wait is finally over. The Huffington Post reports today that model and actress YaYa DaCosta, 31, has been selected to play the role of the late singer Whitney Houston on Lifetime Network’s upcoming biopic. The movie, as yet untitled, is scheduled to air sometime in 2015 and will be actress Angela Bassett’s first turn at directing.

The choice of DaCosta to star as the beloved Houston is already causing negative backlash and critical questions. Many on social media are fearful that she won’t be able to do the role justice because she is known more for modeling, rather than acting.

DaCosta burst upon the scene when she snagged the 1st runner up spot on season three of America’s Top Model in 2003. But what many didn’t know is that DaCosta appeared in many of her high school and college theatrical productions. In fact, her 2008 Off-Broadway debut in “The First Breeze of Summer” received rave reviews and earned her the prestigious Vivian Robinson AUDELCO Recognition Award for Excellence in Black Theater.

Then there’s the awkwardness of the fact that Bobbi Kristina Brown has made it known that if anyone should portray her mother on film, it should be her only daughter. She felt that she had the sass and personality to portray Houston as no one else could. She tweeted “if Any1 would or should EVER play my mother & tell OUR story, we've talked MANYtimes&1&ONLY [sic] person she approved of is ME.”

Houston’s estate has threatened to sue to stop production of the movie on Lifetime Network because they stated that only a big screen feature film would do justice to her life and legacy. So far the movie project is rolling full steam ahead and fans are awaiting the next big reveal as to who will play Houston’s ex-husband and RnB singer Bobby Brown. Brown is known for his solo career with such hits as “My Prerogative” and is still touring with the group New Edition.

As for those questioning DaCosta’s lack of singing credentials, Bassett portrayed singing icon Tina Turner brilliantly in the 1993 movie “What’s Love Got To Do With It”. Bassett doesn’t sing, but so passionately channeled Turner that she garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role and won a Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical. There is no doubt that with Bassett directing, DaCosta has a chance to give the performance of her life.

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