Photos by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images and Harry Langdon/Getty Images

Lionel Richie has just secured the rights to produce Curtis Mayfield‘s life story.

The new American Idol judge acquired the rights from the Curtis Mayfield Estate and will produce the film through his company, RichLion Productions.

Altheida Mayfield, the late singer’s widow tells Deadline, “It’s time to celebrate and re-evaluate Curtis’ legacy. For years, too many others have tried to claim what he alone did. He was a genius, always stood on his own.”

So who should play the iconic singer?

Don Cheadle has our vote.

Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Showtime

Mayfield was more than a singer. The guitarist, songwriter and producer was born on June 3, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. In 1990, stage lighting equipment fell on him during an outdoor concert in New York and left him paralyzed from the neck down, but his recording career continued. He died December 26, 1999 in Roswell, Georgia.

TELL US: Who’s your choice to portray the singer?

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