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01 May 2015

HBO Film Starring Queen Latifah Pumped More Than $16 Million into Georgia's Economy

Bessie Smith, one of the most popular female blues singers in the 1920s and 1930s, is the subject of a new biopic produced by HBO.

"Bessie" stars Oscar-nominee Queen Latifah as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in a poignant portrayal.

"Bessie" offers an intimate look at the determined woman whose immense talent and love for music took her from anonymity in the rough-and-tumble world of vaudeville to the 1920s blues scene and international fame. Capturing Bessie's professional highs and personal lows, the film paints a portrait of a tenacious spirit who, despite her own demons, became a celebrated legend. Throughout the years, Bessie Smith has served as an inspiration for such illustrious singers as Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin and Nina Simone, among others.

Not only was Atlanta a featured city in "Bessie", the movie was filmed almost entirely in Georgia including Covington, Conyers, Marietta, Woodstock and Duluth. The production generated more than $16 million into the state economy, employed nearly 1,700 local cast and crew, and filmed in more than 27 locations.

"Bessie" premieres Saturday, 16 May (8:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) exclusively on HBO.