Beyoncé Knowles is adding “executive producer” to her resume. The 10-time Grammy winner has signed on to executive produce and star in Darnell Martin’s “Cadillac Records” for Sony BMG Films.
Knowles will play Etta James in the 1950s period film about the Chicago record company Chess Records; its founder, Leonard Chess; and the turbulent lives of some of the label’s legends, who included Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf and Chuck Berry.
Martin (“Their Eyes Were Watching God”) penned the screenplay. Sony BMG’s Andrew Lack and Sofia Sondervan are producing for the 3-year-old specialty label.
Knowles joins a cast that includes Adrien Brody (Chess), Jeffrey Wright (Waters), Cedric the Entertainer (Willie Dixon) and Columbus Short (Little Walter). Emmanuelle Chriqui and Tammy Blanchard co-star.
Music for the film is being produced by Steve Jordan (“Cars,” “The Sopranos”). Knowles will record four songs for the soundtrack, which will be released through Music World Entertainment and Columbia Records.
The singer/actress will donate a portion of her fees for the film to recovering addicts through her family’s charity, the Survivor Foundation, according to her reps.
Knowles (“Austin Powers in Goldmember”) earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Deena Jones in 2006’s “Dreamgirls” and a 2008 Grammy nomination for best compilation soundtrack album for the film. She also was nominated for the record of the year Grammy this year for her song “Irreplaceable.”