Angela Bassett and Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige Stars as Betty Shabazz in ‘Betty & Coretta’

Mary J. Blige starred in last year’s musical Rock of Ages, and now she’s stepping into an entirely new role. The Grammy-winning singer plays Dr. Betty Shabazz, civil rights advocate and the wife of Malcolm X, in the Lifetime Original Movie “Betty & Coretta,” which she also executive produced.

The film centers on the real-life stories of Coretta Scott King (Angela Bassett) and Shabazz as they form an unbreakable life-long bond after their husbands’ tragic assassinations.

Mary drew inspiration from Shabazz’ strength. “If Betty had not moved forward, Malcolm X would have died and that would have been it,” she told Los Angeles Confidential. “I didn’t even realize that she and Coretta had been friends. Women never get a chance to have their stories told when there are important men involved. That’s what drew me to the part.”

“Betty & Coretta” premieres Saturday, February 2, at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.