The news comes less than a month after Zendaya Coleman walked away from the role that brought criticism from fans and even the departed singer's family.
Executive producer Debra Martin Chase told BuzzFeed that Lifetime is excited to have Shipp as part of the production.
"Like Aaliyah, Alex is a triple threat — a wonderful, strong actress; a very talented singer; and a great dancer. She also grew up idolizing Aaliyah and possesses a similar star quality. We are all thrilled to have Alex on board."
You might recognize Shipp from House of Anubis, Victorius, Switched At Birth, and Awkward.