Erykah Badu Lands Role in Netflix’s ‘The Piano Lesson’ Adaptation

Host Erykah Badu attends the 2016 SOUL TRAIN MUSIC AWARDS at the New Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 6, 2016 (Credit: Shutterstock)

Erykah Badu has joined the cast of the upcoming film adaptation of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, Netflix announced Tuesday.

The Grammy-winning singer will deliver musical performances in the movie, bringing “her soulful sound and eclectic style” to the project, the streamer said in a press release.

Badu previously had small roles in the films Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), The Cider House Rules (1999), The Land (2016), and What Men Want (2019), as well as several TV shows.

The “On & On” singer joins the previously announced cast of The Piano Lesson, which includes Samuel L. Jackson and John David Washington, who will reprise their roles from the play’s recent Broadway run.

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The cast also includes Ray Fisher and Michael Potts who had roles in the stage version. They’ll be joined by Danielle Deadwyler (Till) and Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton).

The revival of the play recently concluded its run at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City. It was the highest grossing August Wilson production on Broadway ever, according to Broadway World.

Danielle Brooks and Trai Byers also starred in the revival, which was directed by LaTanya Richardson Jackson.

Written in 1987, the Pulitzer Prize-winning work is part of Wilson’s 10 play “American Century Cycle” on the Black experience in the 20th Century, which also includes Fences and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Set in 1936 Pittsburgh during the aftermath of the Great Depression, The Piano Lesson follows the lives of the Charles family and their prized heirloom piano, which is decorated with designs carved by an enslaved ancestor.

The Netflix adaptation is produced by Denzel Washington and Todd Black. Malcolm Washington directs from a screenplay he’s co-writing with Virgil Williams.

A release date for the film will be announced later.