Oscar®-nominee Queen Latifah (Chicago) stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in this HBO Films® presentation. Also starring Michael Kenneth Williams (12 Years a Slave, Boardwalk Empire) and Oscar® winner Mo’Nique (Precious), Bessie focuses on the transformation of a struggling young singer into the “Empress of the Blues,” one of the most successful and influential recording artists of the 1920s. Capturing Bessie Smith’s professional and personal highs and lows, the fi lm paints a portrait of a tenacious spirit who, despite her demons, became a legend.