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Queen Latifah will star as Blues great Bessie Smith in biopic

Entertainer Queen Latifah to play Blues great Bessie Smith in HBO biopic
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Multi-hyphenated star Queen Latifah will pull double duty for an upcoming television project. The Oscar-nominated actress who currently hosts her own daytime talk-show will play Blues legend Bessie Smith in a biopic for HBO according to The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday. She will also take on an executive producer’s role for the movie via her Flavor Unit production company.

The film will be written and directed by “Pariah” helmer Dee Rees. It will tell of Smith’s personal challenges as she reached stardom as a blues singer in the '20s and '30s.

Latifah who started her entertainment career as a pioneering Hip Hop artist has successfully transitioned into television and films. She starred in the sitcom “Living Single" on Fox back in 1993 and in the movies “Jungle Fever”, “Set It Off”, “Last Holiday” and Lifetime’s “Steel Magnolias”. She has also served as an executive producer for various television projects including BET’s “Let’s Stay Together” and the recently cancelled VH-1 series “Single Ladies”.