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People Get Ready

Lionel Richie planning Curtis Mayfield biopic

curtis-mayfield

Lionel Richie is dancing on the ceiling now that he's nabbed the right to produce a biopic about "Superfly" singer Curtis Mayfield.

"It's an honor for me to bring the life of one of my idols and friend to the screen," says Richie, noting that he's "working closely" with Mayfield's widow, son and estate. "[I] couldn't be happier to be moving forward on this amazing project about a one-of-a-kind music genius."

No word yet on who will write the screenplay, direct or star in the movie.

Mayfield was just 14 when he and Jerry Butler co-founded the Impressions in 1956. Their biggest hit, 1965's "People Get Ready," became an anthem of the Civil Rights movement.

As a solo artist, he is best remembered for writing and singing the soundtrack to the 1972 blaxploitation flick "Superfly." The title track and "Freddie's Dead (Theme From Superfly)" were Top 10 hits.

Mayfield was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, with the Impressions in 1991 and on his own in 1999.

The soul singer was paralyzed from the neck down when lighting equipment fell on him during a 1990 concert in Brooklyn. He died of complications from type 2 diabetes in 1999 at 57.

Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images

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