Queen Latifah to play Bessie Smith in new biopic

Los Angeles: Hollywood funnywoman Queen Latifah is all set to star as the legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in an upcoming biopic.

The film will be based on Chris Albertson`s book Bessie, and is to chronicle Smith`s tempestuous private life during the peak of her fame in the 1920s and `30s, reportedly.

Latifah, 44, is slated to executive produce the television movie, while Dee Rees will write and direct the project.

She most recently starred in the television adaptation of Steel Magnolias, and also hosts her own daytime chat show.

Smith was one of the most well-known blues singers of the early 20th century and had also earned the nickname `Empress of the Blues` during her career.

She died at the age of 43 in 1937 after a horrific car accident in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

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