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Oscar® nominee Queen Latifah (“Chicago”) stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO Films drama BESSIE, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dee Rees (“Pariah”) from a screenplay by Dee Rees and Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois. With a story by Dee Rees and Horton Foote, the film focuses on Smith’s transformation from a struggling young singer into “The Empress of the Blues,” one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s and an enduring icon today.
Debuting SATURDAY, MAY 16 (8:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO, BESSIE is executive produced by Richard D. Zanuck, Lili Fini Zanuck, Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone and Randi Michel. Ron Schmidt produces.
Q: How did you get involved in BESSIE?
QUEEN LATIFAH: It came to me through the Zanuck Company more than 20 years ago. I auditioned for the role at the time and I’ve been attached to it since then. It’s been a long time, but it was a story worth telling and a character worth sticking with. It’s been satisfying to finally see it happen. I’m looking forward to people finding out who Bessie Smith is if they don’t know about her already.
I didn’t know who Bessie was when this movie came to me in my early 20s. I did some homework and realized how influential she was and what amazing things she accomplished. For example, when you find out what an influence she was on Billie Holiday, it brings her importance into focus.
Q: Bessie looks to Ma Rainey as a mother figure in the film.
Pitch Perfect 2 Movie Premiere took place at the Nokia Center in Downtown Los Angeles, CA and boy was it a celebration!
SEE VIDEO AND PHOTO RECAP BELOW:
The Barden Bellas are back in Pitch Perfect 2, the follow-up to 2012’s smash hit. The comedy is helmed by Elizabeth Banks, co-star and producer of Pitch Perfect, and produced by Paul Brooks, Max Handelman and Banks. Writer Kay Cannon returns to the team to pen the next chapter.
Janelle Monáe made a guest appearance on Bravo’s Fashion Queens.
Janelle talked about how the outfit she rocked at last year’s (2014) Met Gala was inspired by “Game of Thrones.” She also mentioned her new (sure to be a hit) single “Yoga” a collaboration with Jidenna. It’s part of a forthcoming compilation EP called Wondaland Presents THE EEPHUS, out this summer on Monáe’s Wondaland label, which recently inked a partnership with Epic Records.
Wondaland’s roster includes Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, Deep Cotton, and St. Beauty. THE EEPHUS compilation also features Jidenna’s new single “Classic Man”.
Watch Clips below with Janelle Monáe on Fashion Queens and you can also check out her new music video ‘Yoga” Below:
Last night- Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad) and a host of celebrities came out in support of the Emily Shane Foundation’s Successful Education Achievement program’s charity gala. To honor Emily Shane, the foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping middle school students who struggle in the classroom. This is the first charity gala for the foundation, with hope to raise enough money to expand the S.E.A program to more schools throughout the state.