‘Orange Is The New Black’ Star Danielle Brooks To Play Mahalia Jackson In Biopic

The film will be produced by Robin Roberts.

The life of one of the most revered Gospel singers to ever exist is coming to Lifetime courtesy of Robin Roberts.

According to Deadline, Robin Roberts Presents: The Mahalia Jackson Story is part of a four-picture deal the GMA host signed with Lifetime. The movie will star Danielle Brooks, best known for  her role in Orange Is The New Black and will be directed by Kenny Leon, who most recently directed Kerry Washington in last year’s American Son.

Tanya Lopez, EVP of Movies, Limited Series & Original Movie Acquisitions, told Deadline “Having had the privilege of working with Kenny on Steel Magnolias and Robin Roberts on Stolen by my Mother, I am ecstatic to have them join forces to work together on this special project.”
She continued, “Adding Danielle Brooks as Mahalia is icing on the cake. This team is committed in celebrating the legacy of Mahalia and reintroducing her to a world that needs her spirit more than ever.”

RELATED: 'Orange Is The New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Welcomes A Baby Girl

Brooks wrote on Twitter about landing the role, “Been manifesting this one for five years and the time has finally come.”

Born on Oct. 26, 1911 in New Orleans, Mahalia Jackson is known as one of the first superstars of Gospel music and coined the "Queen of Gospel." Jackson often lent her powerful voice to the civil rights movement. She sang at the 1963 March on Washington at the request of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as at his funeral. 

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