Mary J. Blige wants to portray Nina Simone onscreen

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Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

Mary J. Blige is on a press run to promote her new children’s book, Mary Can!, but if there’s any story she would like to help bring to life onscreen, it’d be that of Nina Simone.

“I always wanted to play Nina Simone because I wanna learn how to play the piano and I love her songs,” she said during an appearance on The Late Show. “They’re very dark and moody and I can always find a place for that.”

Mary’s been a busy woman, with Power Book II: Ghost out now, an upcoming festival and two new Lifetime shows on the way, but she’s still the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul. Speaking to Stephen Colbert, she discussed hip-hop’s ability to serve as a form of therapy.

“I think it’s been amazing because hip-hop has given our culture a voice,” Blige said. “It’s given everybody a voice and a place to speak their truth to. From Jay-Z to Nas to Biggie, they’re all speaking their truth through music, from Rakim to KRS-One.”

She continued, “Everybody is speaking what they’ve lived and what they’ve done through their music, and it’s given them some sort of therapy and that’s what hip-hop has done. And I hope it continues to do that, and I hope it stays around for a long time because the new generations are doing the exact same thing.”

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