Who played Bessie Smith?

Asked By: Crucita Yagodin | Last Updated: 1st May, 2020
Category: music and audio rhythm and blues
4.4/5 (145 Views . 32 Votes)
Queen Latifah plays blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO movie Bessie. A Mississippi car accident in 1937 cut short the life of Bessie Smith. She was just 43 years old.

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Beside this, who influenced Bessie Smith?

Once she began recording in the early 1950s, her commanding voice and her commitment to the blues carried the imprint of Smith to white rock and rollers Elvis Presley, who covered Thornton's "Hound Dog" in 1956, and Janis Joplin, who covered Thornton's "Ball 'n' Chain" in 1968.

Also, what is Bessie Smith famous for? Known in her lifetime as the “Empress of the Blues,” Smith was a bold, supremely confident artist who often disdained the use of a microphone and whose art expressed the frustrations and hopes of a whole generation of black Americans. She was known for her rich contralto voice and her breathtaking emotional intensity.

Keeping this in view, who was Bessie Smith's husband?

Jack Gee m. 1923–1937

Is the movie Bessie based on a true story?

Overall, the movie stays true to the emotional core of Smith's story, but not necessarily to all the details as they happened. Bessie has been in development for more than two decades, giving Latifah plenty of time to get comfortable in Bessie Smith's shoes. Smith was originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

38 Related Question Answers Found

Did Ma Rainey have children?

Born Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett on April 26, 1886, in Columbus, Georgia; died of heart disease on December 22, 1939, in Rome, Georgia; one of three children of Thomas and Ella Pridgett; married William "Pa" Rainey, in 1904; children: (adopted) son, Danny.

What was the most popular song in the 1920s?

Top 10 Songs in the 1920's!
  • Down Hearted Blues – Bessie Smith.
  • In the Jailhouse Now – Jimmie Rodgers.
  • Makin' Whoopee! – Bing Crosby.
  • My Man – Fanny Brice.
  • Swanee – Al Johnson.
  • West End Blues – Louis Armstrong.
  • Willie the Weeper – Louis Armstrong.
  • You'd be Surprised – Eddie Cantor.

What is the best blues song ever?

Eirek Sandnes
  • I'd Rather Go Blind – Etta James.
  • Crossroad Blues – Robert Johnson.
  • Pride and Joy – Stevie Ray Vaughan.
  • I'm Tore Down – Freddy King.
  • Born Under A Bad Sign – Albert King.
  • Sunshine of Your Love – Cream.
  • Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters.
  • Red House – Jimi Hendrix.

What happened to Bessie Smith son?

Bessie Smith's Son
During her marriage to Gee, Smith informally adopted a six-year-old boy and named him Jack Jr. But as her and Gee's relationship became strained, Gee would use their son as a bargaining chip, eventually kidnapping him and accusing Smith of being a neglectful, incompetent mother.

Who was the first black female singer?


Ella Fitzgerald became the first African American woman to win a Grammy Award in 1958. Did You Know? Ella Fitzgerald recorded more than 200 albums throughout her extensive career.

Did Bessie Smith adopt a child?

Did the real Bessie Smith adopt a son, Jack, Jr.? Yes. However, she didn't adopt the six-year-old boy out of the blue as the movie implies. She also didn't adopt him from an orphanage.

Which came first blues or jazz?

Many believe jazz came out of the blues, or that jazz has its roots in the blues. Both jazz and blues originated in the deep south around the end of the 19th century. The blues came out of the African-American communities, from their work songs, spirituals, field chants and hollers.

Was Bessie Smith an alcoholic?

Once the Great Depression hit, Bessie Smith's career took a turn. Smith also had a serious alcohol problem, causing her to take to alcohol instead of improving her career. Her and her husband split in 1929 and she went through an emotional crisis.

What was Bessie Smith worth?


Bessie Smith Net Worth
Estimated Net Worth in 2019 $1 Million - $5 Million (Approx.)
Previous Year's Net Worth (2018) $100,000 - $1 Million
Annual Salary Under Review.
Income Source Primary Income source Blues Singer (profession).

What did Bessie Smith do in the 1920s?

Bessie Smith (April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937) was an American blues singer. Nicknamed the Empress of the Blues, she was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. Bessie did not have access to an education because her parents had died and her elder sister was taking care of her.

Who did Bessie Smith sing with?

Bessie Smith
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1912–37
Labels Columbia
Associated acts Ma Rainey Alberta Hunter Ethel Waters

When did Jack Gee die?

1973

What did Bessie Smith believe in?

The African American singer Bessie Smith was called "The Empress of the Blues." Her magnificent voice, sense of the dramatic, clarity of diction (one never missed a word of what she sang), and incomparable time and phrasing set her apart from the competition and made her appeal as much to jazz lovers as to blues lovers

How was Bessie Smith connected to the Harlem Renaissance?


Contribution to The Harlem Renaissance
Bessie Smith was the first singer to popularize early jazz song. Her early death at the age of 43 cut short a career that influenced the direction of American music and contributed to the success of African Americans in the performing arts.

When did Bessie Smith Get Married?

June 7, 1923 (Jack Gee)

What was the cause of Bessie Smith death?

Traffic collision