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  TIME TO SPARKLE

Ladies Sing The Blues: Five R&B Divas In The Movies

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As we gear up for the August 14 release of Sparkle, the new Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston movie about the rise of a powerful girl’s group in the 1950s, we decided to look at some of the films other R&B and hip-hop singers have starred in. Some brought us to tears, others had us in stitches, but they’re all memorable in their own way.

Are you mad for Mahogany? Loony for Last Christmas? Share your favorite diva flicks in the comments!

Click through for Queerty’s roundup of musical divas in the movies. 

Sparkle hits theaters on August 17.


Photo: TriStar Pictures

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By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jul 27, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 10 Comments
    • dvlaries
      dvlaries

      According to J. Randy Taraborelli, Berry Gordy was so burned by the failure of “The Wiz,” he forbade all mention of it on the Motown 25 special in 1983.

      The one to praise, the one that proved Gordy was right to offer Ross to Hollywood, was her Oscar-nominated turn in “Lady Sings The Blues” in 1972. Liza won, but Ross was no less deserving.

      Props also to Aretha Franklin for a musical, show-stopping turn in “The Blues Brothers,” 1980.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dvlaries
      dvlaries

      …And as for Beyonce, the role that asked much more of her -and she delivered(!)- was “Cadillac Records.”

      Jul 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chas
      Chas

      @dvlaries: “The Wiz” just plain stunk.Over produced dance numbers and the urban settings were just not enjoyable except for the performances of Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross and Thelma Carpenter as “Miss One”. It’s not even campy just a bore. “Lady Sings The Blues” does deserve great praise. Diana was robbed of the Oscar.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 10:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • me
      me

      Queen Mariah!!!

      Jul 28, 2012 at 3:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QJ201
      QJ201

      no Tina Turner in Mad Max?

      Jul 28, 2012 at 6:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hamoboy
      hamoboy

      @QJ201: She’s considered more of a rock singer than an R&B one like the singers listed here, and even the theme song for Mad Max was a rock song.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 7:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rockery
      Rockery

      @me:

      I have always loved Mariah Carey’s voice and music. But I really respect her for an interview in 2008 where she said one of the best things about the gay community so great that it is years ahead of its time and where I hope the world can get to. The interviewer said someone about always giving the gay community resung dance remixes and she said she does not even want to stereotype a person by saying they listen to a particular genre. Not pandering, true equality. Sadly, it is overlooked and we as a community want people to pander. Oddly enough, a lot of my friends have said “Outside” a ballad saved their lives and brought them out of bad places.

      But I love her for that

      Jul 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rockery
      Rockery

      PS I am looking forward to Mariahs new single this summer I hope it’s great!

      Jul 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dvlaries
      dvlaries

      >Chaz said ”
      “The Wiz” just plain stunk.Over produced dance numbers and the urban settings were just not enjoyable except for the performances of Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross and Thelma Carpenter as “Miss One”. It’s not even campy just a bore. “Lady Sings The Blues” does deserve great praise. Diana was robbed of the Oscar.<
      *
      Agreed. Taraborelli also notes in "Call Her Miss Ross," Diana was then was an enthusiastic est disciple and the film was loaded with all the ersatz self-help jargon of the previous 20 years.
      *
      Further, not only was Ross not the Dorothy of popular imagination, she wasn't even a recognizable Diana Ross. The public was not ready for the most glamorous, successful and self-confident black female entertainer of the 60s and 70s dressed in a severe wardrobe and close-cropped hairdo as a plain-jane scaredy cat. Further, Ross played the role with a firm seriousness, never supposing that a sense of humor might help.
      *
      You're right too that what relief was to be had came from the supporting players. With the sassy "Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News," Mable King, as the wicked witch Evilene, lifts "The Wiz" for five minutes to the entertaining fun the whole movie should have been.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wyldcatty
      wyldcatty

      Not sure why you focused on “The Wiz” for Diana Ross – her Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Billie Holiday in “Lady Sings The Blues” should have been included in the post instead. I agree with Chas who also mentioned this performance.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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