10 Music Biopics Centering Black Artists to Watch After Bob Marley: One Love
It’s perfectly fitting that Bob Marley: One Love is releasing during Black History Month. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and the screenplay by Green, Terence Winter, Frank E. Flowers, Zach Baylin and story by Terence Winter and Frank E. Flowers, Kingsley Ben-Adir stars in the film as Reggae artist Bob Marley.

The film comes to theaters on Wednesday, February 14 and is slated to be a celebration of the life and music of the icon who inspired generations through his message of love and unity. Lashana Lynch, James Norton, Jesse Cilio, Sevana, and Tosin Cole are also set to appear in the movie. Bob Marley was a pioneer of the Reggae genre and Bob Marley: One Love is the first time his powerful story is being told on the big screen. After you check out Bob Marley: One Love in theaters, here are 10 music biopics centering Black musicians to watch next.

Bessie (2015)

Cast: Queen Latifah, Tory Kittles, Tika Sumpter, Mo’Nique, Jennifer Sears, Charles S. Dutton

Synopsis: “The story of legendary blues performer Bessie Smith, who rose to fame during the 1920s and ’30s.”

Where to watch: Max

Cadillac Records (2008)

Cast: Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Beyoncé, Columbus Short, Josh Alscher, Cedric The Entertainer, Eric Bogosian, Tammy Blanchard, Tony Bentley

Synopsis: “Chronicles the rise of Chess Records and its recording artists.”

Where to watch: Pluto TV, Starz

CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story (2013)

Cast: Keke Palmer, Drew Sidora, Lil Mama, Rochelle Aytes, Donny Boaz, Evan Ross, Carl Anthony Payne II, Ed Amatrudo

Synopsis: “The story of Legendary hip hop/r&b/pop trio TLC.”

Where to watch: BET+

Get On Up (2014)

Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Lennie James, Fred Melamed, Craig Robinson, Jill Scott, Octavia Spencer, Josh Hopkins, Brandon Mychal Smith, Tika Sumpter, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Keith D. Robinson, Aloe Blacc

Synopsis: “A chronicle of James Brown’s rise from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in history.”

Where to watch: Netflix

Miles Ahead (2015)

Cast: Don Cheadle, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg, LaKeith Stanfield, Brian Bowman, Christina Karis

Synopsis: “An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis.”

Where to watch: Prime Video

Respect (2021)

Cast: Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Tituss Burgess, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Heather Headley, Kimberly Scott, Mary J. Blige, Hailey Kilgore, Saycon Sengbloh, LeRoy McClain

Synopsis: “Following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom, RESPECT is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice.”

Where to watch: MGM+, Prime Video

Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Cast: O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr., Aldis Hodge, Marlon Yates Jr., R. Marcus Taylor, Carra Patterson, Alexandra Shipp, Paul Giamatti, LaKeith Stanfield

Synopsis: “The rap group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.”

Where to watch: Hulu

The Temptations (1998)

Cast: Charles Malik Whitfield, D.B. Woodside, Terron Brooks, Christian Payton, Leon, Alan Rosenberg, Tina Lifford, Jenifer Lewis, Gina Ravera, Obba Babatundé, J. August Richards, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Mel Jackson, Vanessa Bell Calloway

Synopsis: “Biography of the singers who formed the hit Motown musical act, The Temptations.”

Where to watch: Crackle, Freevee, Plex, Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, Tubi

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021)

Cast: Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes, Garrett Hedlund, Natasha Lyonne, Leslie Jordan, Miss Lawrence, Dusan Dukic, Erik LaRay Harvey, Da’Vine Joy Randolph

Synopsis: “Follows Holiday during her career as she is targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation led by black Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she has a tumultuous affair.”

Where to watch: Hulu

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (2022)

Cast: Naomi Ackie, Stanley Tucci, Ashton Sanders, Tamara Tunie, Nafessa Williams, Clarke Peters, Bria Danielle Singleton, Bailee Lopes

Synopsis: “A joyous, emotional, heartbreaking celebration of the life and music of Whitney Houston, one of the greatest female R&B pop vocalists of all time, tracking her journey from obscurity to musical super stardom.”

Where to watch: Netflix


Amber Dover is a multimedia journalist with over a decade writing about pop culture. Cat mom with a deep love of horror, you can follow Amber at @Glambergirlblog on Instagram and X.

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