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Watch: Queen Latifah Channels Bessie Smith in Trailer for HBO Biopic

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

The video transports you to the Jazz Age and shows off Queen Latifah’s vocal chops in her performance 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.

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