R&B singer Mary J. Blige will in the coming days have another new project to finish as she gives her hand at acting. Blige is set to star in an as-yet-untitled biopic that will focus on the rise of late, legendary jazz/soul singer Nina Simone. This then will be her first starring role in a film.
The film, an MTV Films/ Paramount Pictures project, will chronicle Simone's ascent to stardom and her relationship with Paris-based manager Clifton Henderson. The film reportedly will be produced by Interscope Records Chairman Jimmy Iovine along with Lauren Lloyd, Gene Kirkwood and Paul Rosenberg. A director has not been named, but television writer Cynthia Mort will pen the screenplay.
As to everybody to know, Simone was best known as the high priestess of soul, rose to fame in the '60s with signature jazz ballads and such powerful protest songs as "Mississippi Goddam" and "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black," an anthem of the civil rights movement. In 1974, the chanteuse went into exile, eventually ending up in Paris, where she died in 2003.
In the meantime, Blige's seventh studio full-length, "The Breakthrough," is set to hit stores on December 20.