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HBO continues to honor the legacy of the late great blues singer Bessie Smith.

With the premiere of their forthcoming Bessie biopic starring Queen Latifah just a few days away, HBO continues their #Bessie81Tour trekking across the country to the west coast.

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.

Earlier this month, Janelle Monae graced the 1920s-inspired stage during the New York leg of the tour. This time around, soulful singer Tiffany Gouche, trio KING, and newly signed R&B singer Kehlani took the stage with DJ D-Nice on the 1s and 2s.

R&B singer Luke James hosted the evening’s festivities while guest enjoyed cocktails and sang along to the three soulful acts. Even pop star/actress Zendaya posted video of herself “fanning out” to Kehlani while she performed cuts from her revered Cloud 19 mixtape.

For the finale on May 14, pop star Solange Knowles surprised a room of guests with a funky performance. Bessie actresses TikaSumpter and Khandi Alexander danced the night away, alongside actor Tory Kittles. 

Bessie the movie stars Queen Latifah, Michael K. Williams, Academy Award-winning actress Mo’Nique, Mike Epps, Tika Sumpter, Charles S. Dutton, Tory Kittles, and Khandi Alexander. Catch the premiere of Bessie on HBO this Saturday, May 16 at 8 p.m. EST.

Scroll through photos of HBO’s #Bessie81Tour in the gallery below.

Photo Credit: Dorothy Hong


Kehlani & Solange Tear Down The House On HBO’s #Bessie 81Tour In Los Angeles  was originally published on