R&B singer Fantasia Barrino is set to star in biopic of famed gospel artist, Mahalia Jackson. The biopic, based on Jules Schwerin’s 1993 book Got To Tell It: Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel, is currently in pre-production and Fantasia was casted to portray Mahalia herself.
Mahalia Jackson was born in 1911 in New Orleans, LA and is known to be one of the best vocalists of all time and the first gospel singer to ever perform at Carnegie Hall. She also used her influence to support the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
It has been reported that the former 3rd season American Idol contestant and winner can take home a huge percentage if the film grosses well in theaters. The New York Post also stated that Mahalia has a 23.9 million dollar budget to finance the film that will be directed by Euzhan Palcy.
Previously, Fantasia has portrayed herself in her 2006 biopic, the Lifetime Channel’s ‘Life Is Not a Fairy Tale’ and has started in the Oprah Winfrey produced, Broadway play, The Color Purple, as Celie. Most recently released her 3rd album entitled “Back to Me” and performed her new single, Collard Greens and Cornbread on this season’s American Idol. —Tyler McDermott