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December 2005
Mary J Blige News

Mary J Blige news
Blige singing Simone story for MTV, Par
December 5, 2005
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Mary J. Blige is attached to star in an untitled Nina Simone biopic for MTV Films. Paramount Pictures will distribute.

Simone, 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.

The film, which will chronicle Simone's ascent to stardom and her relationship with Paris-based manager Clifton Henderson, marks the first toplining project for R&B star Blige, who has contributed to the soundtracks of such movies as "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" and "Waiting to Exhale."

Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine is producing along with Paul Rosenberg, Lauren Lloyd and Gene Kirkwood. Lloyd, whose credits include "Cellular" and "Mermaids," nabbed Henderson's life rights and brought the project to Iovine.

In September 2004, Iovine inked a three-year, first-look feature deal with Paramount and MTV Films. His first effort under that pact was last month's 50 Cent vehicle "Get Rich or Die Tryin'."

Scribe Cynthia Mort, whose credits include the TV series "Will & Grace" and "Roseanne," is penning the screenplay.

David Gale, Loretha Jones and Carrie Beck will shepherd the project for MTV, while Michelle Raimo will oversee for Paramount.

Blige is repped by CAA and manager Kendu Isaacs.


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