BEYONCE KNOWLES will be coached for her role as ETTA JAMES in a forthcoming movie about blues label Chess Records by the singing legend herself.
James is thrilled Knowles has been picked to play her in Cadillac Records, and is excited about her own role – as a special adviser to the R&B star-turned-actress.
The 70-year-old, who is most famous for her timeless classic I Just Wanna Make Love To You, wasn’t sure the 26-year-old was up to the task, until she watched her rock the Grammy Awards last week (17Feb08) in a duet with Tina Turner.
She tells PageSix.com, “I have my own way of putting those songs over, and I was just wondering if Beyonce could, and my son said, ‘They’re thinking about how she looks, but mama, she can really sing!’
“It’s a privilege and an honor to have somebody like that girl. I don’t think she looks like me, but that’s all right. They can fix that up.
“I kinda have a man’s voice. It’s a contralto, more bluesy, religious. I would really like to work with her on that.”
Former heroin addict James claims Beyonce has a tough task, taking on her rollercoaster life, adding, “Oh my god, she’s going to have a hill to climb, because Etta James ain’t been no (sic) angel!
“I can tell Beyonce some things; some of the things I might not tell her.
“I wasn’t as bourgie as she is, she’s bourgeois. She knows how to be a lady, she’s like a model. I wasn’t like that… I smoked in the bathroom in school, I was kinda arrogant, so those are some of the things I would want to tell her.”
Knowles, who will also act as executive producer on Cadillac Records, will join Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Cedric The Entertainer and Tammy Blanchard in the project, which begins shooting next month (Mar08).