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Janelle Monae Honors Blues Legend Bessie Smith With Surprise NYC Performance

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30:  SingerJanelle Monae performs at the HBO Bessie 81 Tour at Stephan Weiss Studio on April 30, 2015 in
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: SingerJanelle Monae performs at the HBO Bessie 81 Tour at Stephan Weiss Studio on April 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for HBO)

Janelle Monae recently honored the legacy of blues icon Bessie Smith, performing a high-energy set at Manhattan’s packed Stephan Weiss Studios to kick off HBO’s "Bessie’s 81 Theater Tour."

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