Bessie Smith: Biopic of Troubled Singer, Starring Queen Latifah

HBO has released the trailer for its upcoming Bessie Smith biopic, starring Queen Latifah.

The video shows the Jazz Age and Queen Latifah performing as the legendary blues singer.

Directed by Dee Rees, the film focuses on Smith’s turbulent life and transformation from a struggling singer to “the Empress of the Blues,” who became one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s.

Aside from paving the way for African American singers, she was also an LGBTQ pioneer who was open about her bisexuality both on and offstage.

The film, which also stars Michael Kenneth Williams and Mo’Nique, premieres on May 16.