Fantasia Barrino leading Mahalia Jackson biopic MAHALIA

Julian Stark

June 10th, 2011

Fantasia Barrino will play Mahalia Jackson in MAHALIA

A season of American Idol just ended as country crooner Scotty McCreery won the competition. However, it seems that the world of entertainment can never go too long without some kind of news relating to the popular Fox hit series.

In this case, it involves third season winner Fantasia Barrino. The Boombox relays that she’ll play Mahalia Jackson in Euzhan Palcy’s upcoming biopic MAHALIA. The film will derive from the Jules Schwerin book Got To Tell It: Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel. Barrino’s earnings will be based on MAHALIA’s overall gross; the project reportedly has a $23.9 million budget.

Jackson was one of the gospel music’s most prominent vocalists, using her musical strengths to influence the Civil Rights Movement. According to Billboard, her recording of “Move on Up a Little Higher” became the biggest selling record in the history of gospel music.

Barrino has the power to captivate with her vocal abilities, but success in the music industry doesn’t always translate to success on the silver screen. Just take a look at Britney Spears, Vanilla Ice, and a slew of other Razzie winners that experienced popularity as music artists.

Even with that in mind, Barrino received glowing reviews for her stint leading the Broadway musical adaptation of Alice Walker's The Color Purple, so there's some hope for this project. Personally, it sounds like a great crossover opportunity for her, and I can't wait to see the finished product.

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