New York-born singer Mary J. Blige is delving further into the acting arena. The star has appeared in Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself and is preparing to capture the idiosyncrasies of celebrated jazz and soul singer Nina Simone in a biopic.

According to reports, Blige will play Simone in Cynthia Mort’s screenplay Nina. The film will focus on the crooner’s relationship with her assistant, Clifton Henderson, who will be portrayed by David Oyelowo.

“She inspired other singers to do what they believed in,” Henderson told BET. “She’ll definitely be looked at as a civil rights movement leader.”?The film will be shot in France on a $10 million budget.