‘Lady Sings the Blues’ Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary With Special Theater Screenings

Diana Ross. starring as Billie Holiday, in a scene from "Lady Sings the Blues." Image: Paramount Pictures/Getty Images .

Lady Sings the Blues is one of the most recognizable and renowned Black films of the 20th century. Loosely based off the life, music, and struggles of notable jazz signer Billie Holiday and her haunting yet complex life story. Holiday achieved a great deal before her passing at the age of 44. A four time Grammy award winner, she is most remembered for her contributions to the jazz genre and for her song “Strange Fruit,” which stunningly shed light on the legacy and pervasive impact of lynching on America.

Her life has inspired numerous films such as the most recent biographical drama The United States vs. Billie Holiday starring award-winning singer Andra Day. However, no film has been more iconic or memorable than Lady Sings the Blues, a 1973 cult classic. It encapsulates elements from Holiday’s 1956 autobiography of the same name. Starring Diana Ross as Holiday, the movie boasted an all star cast that included Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor and Isabel Sanford. Ross’ debut in the feature film earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

With this year marking the 50th anniversary of its release, Turner Classics is honoring the film with special screenings across the country. On February 20th, 2022, audiences will be able to relive the classic film in select Regal Cinemas theaters nationwide.

The special anniversary screening will also includes exclusive pre- and post-film commentary. Those who wish to purchase tickets for the 50th anniversary showing can visit www.FathomEvents.com or participating theater box offices to do so.

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