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Superfly: Lionel Richie producing Curtis Mayfield biopic

ABC/Randy HolmesLionel Richie has set his sights on bringing the life of legendary musician Curtis Mayfield to the big screen.

According to Deadline, Richie secured the rights for the forthcoming film from the Curtis Mayfield Estate and will produce the feature through his RichLion Productions company. 

“It’s an honor for me to bring the life of one of my idols and friend @CurtisMayfield to the screen!” Richie tweeted.

Mayfield first earned fame as part of the soul/R&B group The Impressions, writing their 1965 classic anthem, “People Get Ready.” 

He struck out on his own in 1970 as a solo artist and record producer, earning a reputation for creating socially conscious music that raised awareness of civil-rights issues in general, and the challenges faced by black Americans in particular. 

Mayfield also scored the 1972 blaxploitation film Superfly, which featured the hit singles “Freddie’s Dead” and “Superfly,” and the 1976 musical drama Sparkle

He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice — with The Impressions in 1991 and as a solo artist in 1999. 

Mayfield also was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995, and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000. 

In 1990, Mayfield was paralyzed from the neck down when he was struck by lighting equipment during a concert sound check.   

He died nine years later at age 57 of complications from diabetes. 

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