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Queen Latifah To Play Blues Singer Bessie Smith In Biopic On HBO


Queen Latifah stars as legendary blueswoman Bessie Smith in the upcoming HBO biopic, Bessie. Latifah told the Daily Beast that the picture is sure to engage and provoke.

"I'm not afraid to tell Bessie's story truthfully," she began. "The good, the bad, the right, the wrong, the sexuality, the family issues, the violence, the love, the hurt, the pain—I wasn't afraid to give myself to her story."

Smith started as a chorus line entertainer in the 1920s to become the highest paid black entertainer in the country as a solo act signed to Columbia Records.

Joining Latifah in the production are Michael Kenneth Williams, Mike Epps, Tiki Sumpter and Mo'Nique.

"I believe that the spirit of Bessie Smith kept going in Queen Latifah," Mo'Nique said of her cast member's performance.

The film debuts on May 16 on HBO.

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