BET’s “American Soul,” the upcoming series about the life and career of “Soul Train” creator Don Cornelius, has found its Diana Ross and Tina Turner.
The Viacom-owned network has cast Michelle Williams, of Destiny’s Child fame, to play the legendary Ross, who is courted by Cornelius to come on his show. Meanwhile, Gabrielle Dennis will play Tina Turner, who, at the time of the series, is enjoying a hugely successful career with her then-husband Ike as they perform “Proud Mary” on “Soul Train.” McKinley Freeman will play Ike.
Dennis, who played Whitney Houston in BET’s “The Bobby Brown Story,” will be joined by Brown himself on the series, who play soul singer Rufus Thomas, best known for his classic “Do the Funky Chicken.”
K. Michelle will portray Martha Reeves, the talented R&B pop singer who was the frontwoman for Martha and The Vandellas.
They join the previously announced Sinqua Walls, who plays Cornelius. The cast includes Kelly Price, Jason Dirden, Iantha Richardson, Christopher Jefferson, Katlyn Nichol, and Jelani Winston. Kelly Rowland portrays Gladys Knight in a multi-episode arc.
“American Soul,” from Jesse Collins Entertainment, will premiere with back-to-back episodes on Feb. 5 at 9 p.m ET/PT, and will roll out internationally on Feb. 7.