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Mary J. Blige Takes On Malcolm X’s Wife, Joined By Angela Bassett

Mary J. Blige is not taking her role lightly for an upcoming movie. She will be joined by Oscar-nominated actresses Angela Bassett and Ruby Dee to help bolster her portrayal of Dr. Betty Shabazz, the wife of slain Muslim leader Malcolm X.

The Lifetime movie, titled Betty and Coretta will detail the dual stories of Coretta Scott King and Shabazz, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Blige will play Shabazz while Bassett will take on the role of King, the wife of Martin Luther King. The story will follow both women as they deal with life as single mothers after the assassinations of their husbands. While Bassett will be portraying King, she received rave reviews for her role as Shabazz in the 1992 Spike Lee film Malcolm X.

Ruby Dee has signed on to play a witness to history, who will narrate the pair’s story.

Production on Betty and Coretta will start in September, according to THR. No word yet on when the movie is scheduled to air.

This role follows Bllige’s appearance in the movie musical Rock of Ages, where she also recorded a spirited cover of Journey’s 80’s hit “Any Way You Want It” in her own video.

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul is currently on her Liberation tour with D’Angelo. —Keith Murphy, CBS Local

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