Though her stint as a talk show host is over, Queen Latifah isn’t done dominating the small screen.
The pioneer femcee will be portraying blues legend Bessie Smith in the HBO film BESSIE, set to debut in 2015. Bessie Smith dominated the 1920s with songs like “Backwater Blues” and “Downhearted Blues,” which sold over 800,000 units. Smith also worked with jazz icon Louis Armstrong and dished out hits like “Cold in Hand Blues” and “I Ain’t Gonna Play No Second Fiddle.” Smith was deemed the Empress of Blues and was one of the highest paid performers of her time.
Besides being the film’s star, Latifah also hopped on board as an executive producer. The movie has an all-star line up of co-stars like Mo’ Nique, Mike Epps, Charles S. Dutton, Tika Sumpter, Michael Kenneth Williams and Khandi Alexander.
The flick is based off of a screenplay written by the film’s director Dee Rees, Bettina Gilois and Christopher Cleveland.
BESSIE does not have a release date yet.