R+B star Mary J Blige is studying hard for her acting debut as Nina Simone in the untitled movie biopic, promising fans she'll do the jazz legend justice.

The 34-year-old Grammy winner has hired a professional acting coach to perfect her performance in the movie, which charts the MISSISSIPPI GODDAM singer's rise to fame and relationship with manager CLIFTON HENDERSON.

The Family Affair hitmaker has also been busy studying Simone's autobiography I PUT A SPELL ON YOU, in order to understand the singer's personal hardships during the US civil rights movement.

She says, "I'm going to take this role very seriously and try and bring Nina Simone back from the dead. If there's one job I'm going to give my all to - this is it.

"I'm not going to doing it just because I've been asked to, I'm going to get into the grind of it, do my history and work real hard with my acting coach.

"Nina was a strong character and had to go through so much like I had to. She had problems with racism and I still suffer that today.

"I'm going to study to get everything just right as it's such a big thing."

Simone died from natural causes in Carry-Le-Rouet, France in 2003.