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Mary J. Blige plays Nina Simone in first starring film role

According to MTV.com, Mary J. Blige has signed on to play Nina Simone in her first feature film starring role. The R&B queen, gearing up to release her new album “The Breakthrough” on December 20, will star as legendary jazz singer Simone in a new MTV Films/Paramount pictures venture. The as-yet-untitled picture will depict the rise of the revered singer, dubbed the ‘High Priestess of Soul’, her fight against oppression and racism in 1950’s and 60’s black America and her relationship with manager Clifton Henderson. Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine is set to produce the project, alongside Paul Rosenberg, Lauren Lloyd and Gene Kirkwood. Cynthia Mort (‘Will & Grace’, ‘Roseanne’) is writing the screenplay.

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