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Queen Latifah Bessie

Queen Latifah is back on the small screen, but in an even bigger way. This time the 45-year-old Oscar nominee brings blues pioneer Bessie Smith back to life in HBO’s film, Bessie.

The rapper, producer, singer, and former talk show host plays the “Empress of the Blues” in a riveting role that chronicles Bessie’s rise to fame to become one of the world’s most soulful blues singers.

Played alongside Boardwalk Empire‘s, Michael K. Williams and Oscar winner Mo’Nique, as Ma Rainy,Bessie dives deep into the singing legend’s turbulent personal life and climb to stardom in the 1920s.

Bessie debuts Saturday, May 16, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on HBO.

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ENTERTAINMENT: First Look At Queen Latifah As Bessie Smith In Upcoming HBO Film  was originally published on

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