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"The Cheetah Girls" Is 20 Years Old, So Stop What You're Doing And Learn 18 Interesting Facts About This Iconic Disney Channel Original Movie

We nearly had a Cheetah Girls movie with no original music?!

Let's rewind to 20 years ago, when one of the greatest Disney Channel Original Movies of all time, The Cheetah Girls, was released.

The girl group was talented, ambitious, powerful, and loyal to one another at the end of the day. And we were loving every second of it.

Here are 18 facts behind this cheetahlicious flick that kicked off the three-film Cheetah Girls franchise:

1. Whitney Houston was a producer of The Cheetah Girls.

Whitney Houston at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, THE CHEETAH GIRLS, Adrienne Bailon, Raven-Symone, Kiely Williams, Sabrina Bryan, 2003

2. Before starring together in The Cheetah Girls, Adrienne and Kiely were in the girl group 3LW, alongside Power star Naturi Naughton.

Group portrait photography of the Girl Group 3LW, featuring the three founding members: Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams, and Naturi Naughton

3. The actors carried out rehearsals for three weeks in Toronto, then filmed the movie over the course of six weeks.

THE CHEETAH GIRLS, from left, Kiely Williams, Adrienne Houghton, Sabrina Bryan, Raven-Symone, aired August 15, 2003

4. The film was an adaptation of the book series by Deborah Gregory.

Deborah Gregory & Cappuccino during New York Premiere of Disney's "The Cheetah Girls" at La Guardia High School in New York City, New York, United States

5. The Cheetah Girls marked Sabrina's first Disney Channel role.

Sabrina Bryan during ABC and The Disney Channel Present The Premiere of "The Cheetah Girls" at LaGuardia High School in New York City, New York, United States

6. Naya Rivera revealed in her memoir, Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up, that she auditioned for and nearly scored a role in the movie.

Naya Rivera attends the LA Premiere Of Roadside Attraction's "Judy" at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on September 19, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California

7. Adrienne's Cheetah Girls audition was her first time reading a script, and she said the scene directions out loud as she performed.

Chanel smiles at Dorinda in "The Cheetah Girls"

8. A song from the film, "Cinderella," was not originally sung by The Cheetah Girls.

Play sings "Cinderella" on stage

9. The girls weren't allowed to use a certain beauty product while filming.

THE CHEETAH GIRLS, Sabrina Bryan, Raven-Symone, Kiely Williams, Adrienne Bailon, 2003

10. Adrienne was "in awe of" Lynn Whitfield on set.

Lynn Whitfield as Dorothea smiles at Galleria, Adrienne Bailon-Houghton as Chanel smiles during lunch at school

11. Solange Knowles was initially set to portray Aqua.

Solange Knowles (Beyonce's sister) during 2003 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, United States

12. Sabrina read for all four lead characters before getting the role of Dorinda.

Dorinda discusses meeting up for a Cheetah Girls audition

13. The producers cried from nerves as Kiely danced on a slippery car in the rain during the final scene.

Kiely Williams as Aqua dances on a taxi while singing "Cheetah Sisters"

14. The Cheetah Girls was the first Disney Channel movie musical, laying the foundation for future DCOM musicals like High School Musical, Camp Rock, Teen Beach Movie, and more.

The Cheetah Girls sing for Jackal Johnson

15. But music was nearly not included in the film.

The Cheetah Girls wait to hear Drinka's evaluation of their performance

16. Adrienne didn't foresee the great success of The Cheetah Girls.

Adrienne Bailon-Houghton as Chanel talks to her mom

17. Raven did her first onscreen kiss for The Cheetah Girls and "would just ball out laughing" during these takes.

Raven as Galleria and Kyle Schmid as Derek kiss

18. Lastly, there's a lot about the making of The Cheetah Girls "no one will ever know."

THE CHEETAH GIRLS, Sabrina Bryan, Raven-Symone, Kiely Williams, Adrienne Bailon, 2003

My level of happiness from revisiting this legendary DCOM is almost equal to Galleria's after hanging up on Jackal Johnson!

Did any of these Cheetah Girls facts surprise you? Tell us about it in the comments below!

And if you're looking to take a trip down memory lane, be sure to stream The Cheetah Girls franchise on Disney+.

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