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Janelle Monae Brings Bessie Smith’s Legacy to Life …

Brittany Lewis | GobalGrind   in  · ·
May 4, 2015

The “Empress of Blues” would be so proud.

Last night, HBO and singer/songwriter Janelle Monae brought 1920s blues singer Bessie Smith’slegacy to life on the first stop of their #Bessie81Tour.

The “Yoga” singer performed a medley of hits for an elite group of industry insiders at the elegant Stephan Weiss Studios in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

In an effort to celebrate the life of Bessie Smith, an under-appreciated blues singer who influenced and inspired soulful greats like Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin, HBO put together an elaborate tour that captures the essence of the late singer’s liberating movement.

HBO’s Bessie 81 Theatre Tour kicked off in New York City earlier this week. Vowing to honor Bessie’s life, HBO created an all-access environment for aspiring singer/songwriters to find their voice, just as Bessie Smith found her voice many years ago.



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