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Janelle Monáe cast alongside Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in 'Hidden Figures'.

Janelle Monáe cast alongside Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in 'Hidden Figures'.

Janelle Monáe has joined Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in the cast of the upcoming film 'Hidden Figures', the biopic of Katherine Johnson (Henson), the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory for NASA's Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969. Spencer and Monáe are expected to star as other members of the mathematical team assembled by Johnson.

'Hidden Figures' marks Monáe's third film role, following a small voice part in 'Rio 2', and the upcoming 'Moonlight', which will be released by A24 and Brad Pitt's Plan B Productions later this year. It has been nearly three years since her last studio album, 2013's 'The Electric Lady', but she was recently heard on 'This Is For My Girls', a track written by Diane Warren and released to coincide with First Lady Michelle Obama's keynote speech at SXSW. It also features vocals from Missy Elliott, Kelly Clarkson, Zendaya, Kelly Rowland and Lea Michele.

Directed by Theodore Melfi, best known for 2014's 'St. Vincent', the movie also stars Kirsten Dunst and Kevin Costner. Production on the movie has now begun, with scenes being shot this week in Atlanta, Georgia.

The role of Katherine Johnson will be the first film lead for Henson since the runaway success of FOX's 'Empire', in which she stars as scheming ex-con and matriarch Cookie Lyons. It was for this part that she picked up her first Golden Globe earlier this year. She has previously been Oscar-nominated as Best Supporting Actress for 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', an award her 'Hidden Figures' co-star Spencer won in 2012 for 'The Help'. Spencer is currently starring in both 'Zootopia' and 'Allegiant', the penultimate instalment of the 'Divergent' series.

Johnson, who is now 97 years old, was honored last year by President Barack Obama with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

'Hidden Figures' is expected to be released in the U.S. on January 13th 2017, timed to coincide with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, and also making it a likely player in next year's awards season.

Watch the 'Electric Lady' music video below...

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