Beyonce Knowles is to step into the shoes of a music legend in an upcoming period drama.

The Destiny's Child star is to play Etta James in Darnell Martin's Cadillac Records - a tale of influential Chicago record company Chess Records - and will also executive produce the film.

James, bestowed with a lifetime achievement award at the 2002 Grammys and ranked number 62 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest female artists of all time, scored a major UK hit in 1995 with I Just Want to Make Love to You, re-released after it was featured in a Diet Coke advertisement.

Knowles, herself a ten-time Grammy winner, will star alongside Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright and Cedric the Entertainer in the Sony BMG Films project, as well as recording four tracks for the soundtrack, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Brody is to play Leonard Chess, the record label's founder, with Wright starring as Muddy Waters and Cedric the Entertainer as Willie Dixon.

Martin penned the screenplay for the movie, which will be produced by Andrew Lack and Sofia Sondervan.

It is also believed that Knowles is to donate a portion of her fees from the film to the Survivor Foundation, her family's charity for recovering drug addicts.

A Golden Globe nominee for her performance in Dreamgirls, Knowles was beaten to the record of the year award at this year's Grammys by Amy Winehouse, though the former's duet with Tina Turner made the headlines.

Aretha Franklin took offence to Knowles' introduction for the Simply the Best star, with Franklin claiming Knowles had disrespected her by calling Turner "the queen".

20/02/2008 13:53:05