Reported exclusively through Deadline, Lionel Richie has been granted the rights to produce a feature based on the life of legendary songwriter and musician Curtis Mayfield. Richie is developing the project via his RichLion Productions and acquired the rights from the Curtis Mayfield Estate.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Mayfield started his musical career in a gospel choir.
At the age of 14, he joined the vocal group the Impressions. He become know for writing songs that reflected his awareness of political and social concerns among black people. Mayfield has written more than 1,900 songs including the Impressions’ hits “People Get Ready” and “Keep on Pushin’” “His group had a pair of top 10 pop hits — “It’s All Right” and cover “Amen” — and six No. 1s on the Billboard R&B Singles chart.” Following his time with the Impressions, Curtis embarked on a solo career. He scored various films such as the Gordon Parks, Jr.-directed blaxploitation drama Superfly.
“Mayfield won a Grammy Legend Award in 1994 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995, and was a double inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of the Impressions in 1991, and again in 1999 as a solo artist. He was also a two-time Grammy Hall of Fame inductee.”
In 1990, Curtis Mayfield was paralyzed from the neck down after stage lighting equipment fell on him during an outdoor concert at Wingate Field in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York. Despite his disability, he continued his career as a recording artist. He died from complications of type 2 diabetes in 1999 at the age of 57.
“It’s an honor for me to bring the life of one of my idols and friend to the screen,” Richie said. “I’m so grateful to be working closely with Altheida Mayfield, Cheaa Mayfield and the Curtis Mayfield Estate and couldn’t be happier to be moving forward on this amazing project about a one-of-a-kind music genius.”