Viola Davis performs blues legend Ma Rainey within the Netflix movie ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Backside.’ Ma Rainey was a real-life one who had an immense influence on music.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, based mostly on the 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by August Wilson, can be launched Dec. 18 on Netflix. Oscar winner Viola Davis, 55, stars as the long-lasting blues singer Ma Rainey alongside Chadwick Boseman in his final film role. Chadwick passed away in Aug. 2020 on the age of 43 after battling pancreatic most cancers.

The critically-acclaimed film could also be a movie adaptation of a play, however Ma Rainey was very a lot an actual particular person. She had an unbelievable affect on blues music. The movie takes place in a single afternoon in 1927 Chicago as Ma Rainey involves the studio to make a file. So, who was the actual Ma Rainey? HollywoodLife has rounded up 5 key issues that you must know.

Viola Davis
Viola Davis stars because the titular character. (Netflix)

1. Ma Rainey is called the “Mom of the Blues.” Ma Rainey, whose actual identify was Gertrude Pridgett, was one of many first skilled African-American blues singers. She was immensely widespread in the course of the Twenties when curiosity within the blues was at an all-time excessive. Ma Rainey had an extremely highly effective voice and was acknowledged for her “moaning” type of singing. The singer didn’t simply have an effect on the music world. She impressed African American poets Langston Hughes and Sterling Brown, in addition to playwright August Wilson.

2. She was bisexual. Ma Rainey married Will Rainey in 1904, and so they really toured as a duo, calling themselves Ma and Pa Rainey. Nevertheless, Ma was open about her bisexuality and even sang about lesbian relationships. Ma turned shut with younger blues singer Bessie Smith, who was additionally bisexual. When Ma was arrested by Chicago police for a “sexual dalliance with a few of her feminine dancers,” Bessie bailed her out of jail, in keeping with The New York Times.

3. She died in 1939. The singer’s demise was attributable to a coronary heart assault. Her age has been disputed, however Ma Rainey was simply in her 50s when she handed away in Georgia.

Viola Davis Chadwick Boseman
Viola Davis with director George C. Wolfe and co-star Chadwick Boseman. (Netflix)

4. Ma Rainey had recorded over 90 songs at one level in her profession. Throughout a 5-year time interval, Ma Rainey recorded 92 songs for Paramount, in keeping with Brittanica. A few of these songs included “Show It on Me,” “Slave to the Blues,” and “Gradual Driving Moan.”

5. She began performing when she was simply a teen. Ma Rainey first carried out in public in 1900 on the Springer Opera Home in Columbus, Georgia, the NYT reported. She joined a stage present referred to as “The Bunch of Blackberries” and started touring with vaudeville acts earlier than making it large.


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