A biopic that has been long overdue, Queen Latifah stars as the formidable blues singer Bessie Smith. Regarded as The Empress of the Blues, the film will recount the life of one of the most popular blues singers of the 20th Century.

The HBO film also stars Monique, Mike Epps, Charles S. Dutton, and The Wire’s Michael K. Williams as Bessie’s husband, Jack Gee. Bessie premieres May 16, 2015 on HBO.