Vampire Diaries star Kat Graham will play late singer Tammi Terrell in an upcoming biopic that will follow her brief but memorable career.
Written by actress/director Maryam Myika Day, the currently untitled project is being produced by Robert Teitel, Rose Ganguzza and Hilary Shor.
Known for having teamed up with Marvin Gaye on a string of 1960s Motown hits before dying of a brain tumor at age 24, Terrell started out appearing as an opening act for the likes of Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles, and then became a backup singer in the James Brown Revue.
In April 1967, she and Marvin began churning out Motown classics such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Your Precious Love,” “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing” and “You’re All I Need to Get By.”
In October of that year, Terrell collapsed onstage while performing with Gaye at Virginia’s Hampton-Sydney College.
Diagnosed with a brain tumor, she continued to record with Gaye and scored a few more solo hits before dying in 1970 at age 24.
“I immediately connected to Tammi and her story in many ways and have felt the incredible need to tell it…” says Graham. “Tammi Terrell defined passion and soul itself… Getting lost in the music enabled her to override life’s punishments — for when she sang, she could use the hurt to create greatness and give the world hope that maybe they could overcome their pain as well.”
With Graham’s own Panthera Pictures also set to produce, shooting for the feature film is set to begin in 2016.
Check out some of Terrell and Gaye’s magic in the video below.