Fantasia To Star in Mahalia Jackson Biopic

"American Idol" alum and erstwhile VH1 reality-show star Fantasia Barrino has added another line to her resume today.

The season three winner is slated to appear in a feature-film adaptation of the 1993 book "Got to Tell It: Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel," which recounts the life of the late American gospel singer, a civil rights activist who was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The CAA-repped Barrino, who's biggest post-"Idol" gig to date was playing Celie in the Broadway version of "The Color Purple," will portray Jackson on her journey from abject poverty in New Orleans to her rise as a global figure in gospel and early supporter of Martin Luther King, Jr. The singer died in 1972 at the age of 60.

The 26-year-old performer also played herself in the 2006 Lifetime biopic "Life Is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story," which was based on her 2005 autobiography.

The film will be directed by Euzhan Palcy ("A Dry White Season") from a script by Jim Evering, and goes into production in April in Pittsburgh and Chicago for a December release.


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