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Guess who will be playing Whitney Houston?

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By Andrew Scot Bolsinger

Yolanda Ross is the latest to be cast in the upcoming television movie of the life of pop icon Whitney Houston, according to a report in Blackfilm.com

Ross has been cast in the role of Whitney Houston‘s longtime friend Robyn Crawford in the Lifetime production. Actress Angela Bassett will make her debut as a director. Ross will join Yava DeCosta Alafia, who will star as Houston, according to published reports.

Interest in Houston, the Grammy award winning singer and actor who died at the age of 48 after a troubled life including drug addiction and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, surrounded her from her breakout fame as a power-house singer. Interest skyrocketed after her death from an overdose on Feb. 11, 2012 in her hotel room in Los Angeles.

The film is slated to air in 2015. It will center on the relationship between Houston and Brown, from the time they met at the height of their celebrity to the decline in both their careers and marriage.

Crawford told Esquire Magazine that she first met Houston in their teens, growing up in in East Orange, New Jersey. She spent years traveling alongside the singer.

“During the height of Houston’s career, tabloids tried to insinuate a sexual relationship existed between the two, but neither Houston or Crawford would substantiate those rumors,” The Huffington Post reported.

Larry Sanitsky, who worked with Bassett on the Lifetime film ‘Betty and Coretta,’ will serve as the executive producer. Shem Bitterman, who wrote ‘Coretta’ is onboard as the screenwriter.

Ross, who received an Indie Spirit Awards nomination in John Sayles’ “Go for Sisters,” will also appear alongside Jennifer Lopez and Viola Davis in Charles Stone III‘s indie movie “Lila & Eve.”

Ross made her directorial debut with the short film “Breaking Night.” Ross also played the mother of Sweetness O’Hara in “Yelling to the Sky.” She became inspired to direct her first film while promoting “Yelling To The Sky” during the New Orleans Film Festival in 2011, she said.

Andrew Scot Bolsinger won more than two dozen press awards during his journalism career. He is a freelance writer, author and operates www.criminalu.co, which is focused on prison reform. He can reached at Andrew.Bolsinger@gmail.comand can be followed @CriminalUniv on Twitter.