Thursday night marked the end of Bessie’s 81 Theatre Tour, which kicked off April 28 in NYC. The tour celebrates HBO’s new film Bessie, which chronicles the life of late blues singer Bessie Smith. The film airs on 5/16 on HBO; Bessie will be played by Queen Latifah. Following its three-day New York takeover (which ended with a surprise performance from Janelle Monae), the tour headed West to Los Angeles for a second set of events.
May 12th marked the launch of the 81 Theatre Tour’s LA leg. The West Coast portion kicked off with a media-only brunch on the 12th, and concluded with a surprise performance on May 14th from none other than singer and Saint Records founder Solange. As Solo hit the stage, the vibrant star performed a series of her past cuts from 2012 EP, True, her hit track”Losing You,” and debuted a new song in honor of Ferguson, Baltimore, Missouri and Maryland entitled “Rise.”