Singer did research for Etta James flick

Beyonce Knowles spent time with recovering heroin addicts for her latest movie.

The singer stars as troubled Etta James in biopic Cadillac Records.

As well as meeting the soul diva, now 70, she visited Phoenix House rehab centre in New York to research the part.

‘I said, “I have to do this movie” – but I was terrified,’ she explains. ‘I never tried drugs in my life so I didn’t know about it all.

‘It was hard to go to the rehab. I learned a lot about life and myself.’

Beyonce, 27, was apparently reduced to tears by the plight of six African-American addicts she met.

‘It was very intense,’ rehab chief exec Howard Meitiner tells the Mail On Sunday. ‘Everyone was crying.

‘These were women who have lost everything because of drugs – their homes, their families, their jobs.’  

Cadillac Records is released in the UK in the spring.

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