Queen Latifah is serving some serious “when you’re good to Mama” realness in her upcoming film bio of legendary blues singer Bessie Smith. The
out entertainer, who received an Academy Award nod for best supporting actress for her work as the lady-loving Mama Morton in the 202 musical Chicago, will headline Bessie, an HBO biopic about the hard-living Smith for out director Dee Rees. For the unfamiliar, Smith was the most successful black vocalist of her era. Despite being married twice, Smith was well-known for her same sex love affairs and even sang a song with explicit lesbian content such called “It’s Dirty But Good.” She died at age 43 in 1937. The drama also star’s Oscar-winner Mo’Nique as Ma Rainey, who is rumored to have been the woman who first introduced Smith to lesbian sex.
The film will premiere on HBO May 16. Watch bisexual Bessie belt below.