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Rihanna to Play Josephine Baker in Major Film Next Year

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By Victor Trammell

During the 1920s and 1930s, Josephine Baker was in the prime of a career in entertainment that made her an American icon.

Born in 1906 as Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, Baker was internationally known by sultry nicknames like “The Black Venus” and the “Creole Goddess. Her seductive performances as a singer made her a first-class s*x symbol at a time when black women were not seen as such.

In addition to being a singer and performer, Baker was a international film star. She was the first black woman in America to star in a majorly distributed motion picture. The film was called Zouzou and was released in 1937. Baker starred in the film with fellow singer and actor Jean Gabin.

Baker was also known for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement later in her life. Coretta Scott-King (widow of Dr. Martin Luther King) offered Baker a leading role in the movement after her husband’s assassination in 1968. However, Baker declined the position because of the danger it posed. She was quoted as saying that her children “were too young to lose their mother.”

Josephine Baker’s beauty, talent as an entertainer, and public persona set trends in American and European culture. At one time during her illustrious career, dolls made in her image sold all around the world. Even in modern times, fascination over Baker’s life story and rise to fame persists.

According to The Daily Mail, a British online newspaper, a film based on the life of Josephine Baker is set to be produced starting next year. There are also rumors surfacing that Barbadian singer and pop star Rihanna will play the leading role in the future Baker bio-pic. In addition to singing and performing, Rihanna also has a background in film.

Since 2006, she has starred in three major motion pictures, including Bring It On: All Or Nothing, Battleship, and This Is the End. Though there is much talk over Rihanna’s role in the upcoming Josephine Baker bio-pic, an official confirmation from the upcoming film’s director has not been made.