Once Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey threw their considerable celebrity and credibility behind “Precious,” directed by Lee Daniels, the film would quickly become one of year’s most anticipated.
Starring Mo’Nique, newcomer Gabourey Sibide, an unrecognizable Mariah Carey and Paula Patton, the film is based on the horrific yet inspirational 1996 book by Sapphire. The movie has already set records in limited release, earning $1.8 million dollars while on just 18 screens, a record for a movie opening on less than 100 screens. “Precious” opens nationwide on Nov. 23.
In the book, the Precious of the title is an overweight teenager abused by both parents, who gains strength from some unlikely supporters. Given the emotional arc of the film, the music that goes along with it would have to be as soulful and moving. So, of course, the first single is by none other than Mary J. Blige, who has been candid about her own personal journey to self-love.
“I Can See In Color” is classic Mary – a heartfelt expression of a woman who overcomes her inner pain. She and singer/songwriter Raphael Saadiq collaborated on the song.
“I’ve been coming from a personal place ever since I spoke on the ‘My Life’ album,” Blige told Billboard.com. “But we never look back into the why – why is all this happening to us? And that is what ‘Precious’ is about. Getting that song out, I had to dig back into the ‘why,’ and digging back into the why is what hurts the most.”
As the movie is set in 1987, cuts by Mahalia Jackson, powerhouse funk/R&B group Labelle and classic R&B singer Jean Carne and Queen Latifah are not new, but are beloved songs from or before the time period. MFSB’s anthemic “Love is the Message” is also one of the tracks. The CD, released online last week, will be in stores on Nov. 23.
“Precious’ story is about learning to love yourself, and that is a universal story,” says Daniels. “What better way to express such a powerful message than with the music from Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Nona Hendryx, Jean Carne, Grace Hightower and Mahalia Jackson – artists that resonate not just in Precious’ world, but speak to your soul no matter who you are.”
By: Tonya Pendleton, BlackAmericaWeb.com