The trailer for the Bessie Smith biopic starring Queen Latifah has premiered online. The trailer features some of the film’s music, and it gives the viewer a small glimpse into the career of blues legend Bessie Smith. The biopic was directed by Dee Rees, and it also stars Academy Award winner Mo’Nique, Mike Epps, Bryan Greenberg, and Charles S. Dutton. Bessie will make its HBO debut on May 16th.
Bessie Smith was one of the founding mothers of the blues in the 1920s, and she earned the title of “The Empress of the Blues.” In 1923, she signed a recording contract with Columbia Records, and she became one of the highest-paid African-American artists in her era. Some of Smith’s biggest hits include “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home,” T’ain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do,” “Down Hearted Blues,” “Careless Love Blues,” and “The St. Louis Blues.”
“Down Home Blues” reached the top of the charts in the US, and it sold two million copies (800,000 copies in the first six months of its release). Smith is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her generation, and her talent allowed the singer to tour extensively. Unfortunately, Smith died in 1937 due to injuries suffered in a car accident; the blues legend was 43 years old.
Queen Latifah has starred in a great number of films, some of which include appearances in Jungle Fever, Juice, Set It Off, Sphere, The Bone Collector, Chicago, Brown Sugar, The Secret Life of Bees, Just Wright, The Dilemma, and 22 Jump Street. In 2002, Latifah was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in the film Chicago.
Latifah’s television career includes a starring role on Living Single, and guest appearances on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Spin City, Entourage, and Single Ladies (also executive produced). She was the daytime host on the Queen Latifah Show, which initially aired from 1999 through 2001. The talk show returned in 2013, but it was canceled after two seasons. The final episode of the Queen Latifah Showaired last month. The talk show was nominated for two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Talk Series (2014 and 2015).
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