The Empress of the Blues

Before reading The Empress of the Blues, I have never head of Bessie Smith, however after reading the interviews about her, i realized of how much of an amazing woman she was.  Her sassy, strong, and sensual persona has led to influence women later on in the music business, such as Janis Joplin. What I appreciated most about Bessie is that she used her voice as her greatest asset. She didn’t look like the ideal “star” , but when she sang, no one cared what she looked like. Blues was her life and you could tell in her performances. The fact that you could hear a pin drop in the room when she sang, means something. Her being a woman of color and being raised in churches, she brought with her the passion and soul from the south to her blues performances. In that time period, it was such a big deal for an African American singer to have such a liking. Unfortunately she fell into some trouble during her life, as many singers to this day still deal with. She faced alcoholism and management that were money hungry. What i like about Bessie is though, she didn’t see singing Blue as a job. She say it as a part of her life and was very humble about herself.   Unfortunately, one day she was in a car accident and suffered damage to her arm; having to go to the hospital for emergency care. The hospital was racist though and would not take care of her, and by the time she found a hospital that would, she had lost too much blood to survive. Its a sad tale because she was so influential in her blues singing, and could have gone even further in her career if she was given the opportunity to do so.

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