Queen Latifah to star as Bessie Smith in new HBO biopic - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Queen Latifah to star as Bessie Smith in new HBO biopic

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By Lily Workneh, 

(The Grio) - Queen Latifah will reportedly star as famous Blues singer Bessie Smith in an upcoming biopic.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film will air on HBO and focus on how the iconic artist overcame a “tempestuous personal life” to become known as “The Empress of the Blues.” 

Smith rose to fame in the 1920s and 30s after her soulful voice serenaded crowds and quickly established herself among the most successful black performing artists of her time.

She enjoyed plenty of success but later battled alcoholism. The Great Depression also hit around the same time, which stunted the growth of the entertainment industry and the economy as a whole.

Over the course of her short-lived career, Smith built an impressive resume. She recorded more than 200 songs, including duets with talented artists like Louis Armstrong and James P. Johnson.

Smith later died in 1937 from a tragic automobile accident — but her legacy continues to live on.

The biopic will be directed by Dee Rees, whose former work includes the 2011 film Pariah. No word yet on when the film is expected to air.

Read more at The Grio
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