Bessie Smith aka “The Empress of Blues”  is a soulful blues singer who has the amazing voice that her fans love to hear throughout generations. She goes down in history as one of the most well known and loved Blues performers in History. 

Bessie Smith

Early Life

Bessie Smith was born on April 15, 1894 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She was raised by her mother after her father who was axminster untimely death. Leaving her mother to raise her seven children including Bessie.In 1906, Smith’s mother and two of her brothers even died leaving her and her siblings to go live with their aunt. Bessie clearly had a tough childhood which she was able to express through her music, the blues. She was known to perform her music which was performed with so much passion and love. Another thing she was also good in was dancing so good she ended up dancing in the Moses Stokes minstrel shows.

Bessie’s Music

Bessie Smith had a passion for singing and was so brilliantly talented that she was signed to Columbia Records in 1923. Following that year Smith released a song titled “Downhearted Blues” which was a huge hit bringing in approximately 800,000 copies, because of that she was now an upcoming new blues artist in the spotlight.

Bessie Smith’s career was a very eventful one where she worked with some of the most talented and best artists during her recording career. Such as James P. Johnson which she recorded a song titled “Backwater Blues”.

Another artist Bessie Collaborated with was Louis Armstrong on hits like “Cold in Hand Blues”, “I Ain’t Gonna Play No Second Fiddle”, and “St. Louis Blues”.


Bessie Smith was able to rightfully claim the title of the highest-paid Black performer in the 1920s. The reason why Bessie Smith is such a big deal was because she was able to defy the odds and rise above and do what she loved. She was able to put passion in her music and you could hear it in her voice. She felt every phrase and every syllable she sang because she was so into it. Her work pays off and still influences today’s music with the title no one can ever take from her “The Empress of the Blues”.