“Electric Lady” Singer Performed A Secret Show For HBO’s New Film, “Bessie.”
Quirky singer Janelle Monae paid homage to blues legend Bessie Smith during a surprise secret show Thursday night.
Monae, 29, surprised shocked guests at the private gig, where she dedicated her song “Electric Lady,” to Smith and her contemporary, Ma Rainey.
“She was fighting for the same things we’re fighting for now, in segregation days,” Monae said to the crowd. “If you’re tired of minorities being oppressed, make some noise!”
Monae’s half hour performance drew the likes of director John Singleton, “Bessie” director Dee Rees and Extra’s AJ Calloway.
The performance at the Stephan Weiss Studios in Manhattan was the culmination of the East Coast run of HBO’s Bessie 81 Theatre Tour, which featured local artist performances and a musical workshop led by singer Stacy Barthe and Grammy-winning producer Bryan Michael Cox.
The L.A. run of the Bessie 81 Theatre Tour will begin May 12.
“Bessie” premieres on HBO May 16.