bessie smith & queen latifah

*Queen Latifah is no longer gracing the airwaves with her daily talk show, but she will be back on the small screen shortly.

If you haven’t heard, Lafifah is bringing blues pioneer Bessie Smith back to life in the HBO film, “Bessie.”

The 45-year-old Oscar nominee plays the “Empress of the Blues” in a riveting role that chronicles Bessie’s rise to fame to become one of the world’s most soulful blues singers.

“Bessie” also stars “Boardwalk Empire’s”, Michael K. Williams and Oscar winner Mo’Nique, as Ma Rainy. As well as bringing the music, “Bessie” brings the drama as it focuses on the singing legend’s turbulent personal life and climb to stardom in the 1920s.

Bessie” debuts Saturday, May 16, at 8pm E/P on HBO.