As Hollywood fights for the rights to Britney Spears' memoir, let's take a look back at these widely acclaimed biopics of great singers that have received as much praise as the protagonists they portray.
Credit: Universal Pictures
Ray, directed by Taylor Hackford, is a biopic released in 2004 describing the life of influential musician Ray Charles. Jamie Foxx delivers an Oscar-winning performance, capturing Charles' musical genius and personal struggles. The film offers a poignant look at his journey. from blindness to stardom, highlighting the lasting impact of his moving music.
Walk The Line (2005)
Credit: Fox 2000 Pictures
Walk the Line, directed by James Mangold and released in 2005, is a biographical film about the life of country music legend Johnny Cash. Joaquin Phoenix delivers an outstanding performance as Cash, and Reese Witherspoon shines as June Carter. The film explores Cash's rise to fame, his tumultuous relationships and his redemption through music, culminating in a powerful love story.
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Credit: Twentieth Century Fox
Bohemian Rhapsody is a 2018 biopic celebrating the legendary rock band Queen and its charismatic leader Freddie Mercury. Rami Malek's Oscar-winning portrayal captures Mercury's flamboyance and vulnerability. The film chronicles Queen's iconic performances, musical innovation and Mercury's personal struggles, culminating in the triumphant Live Aid concert.
Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody (2022)
Credit: Compelling Pictures
Released in 2022, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody is a celebration of Whitney Houston's life, directed by Kasi Lemmons and performed by Naomi Ackie, one of the greatest R&B pop singers of all time.
What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)
Credit: Touchstone Pictures
What's Love Got to Do with It, directed by Brian Gibson and released in 1993, is a biopic centered on Tina Turner and her abusive husband, Ike. Angela Bassett delivers a powerful performance as Tina Turner, highlighting her resilience and triumph in the face of abuse. The film explores Tina's journey to self-discovery and musical success.
The Doors (1991)
Credit: Bill Graham Films
The Doors, directed by Oliver Stone and released in 1991, delves into the tumultuous life of Jim Morrison, the enigmatic lead singer of The Doors. Val Kilmer's riveting performance captures Morrison's charisma and self-destructive tendencies. The film explores the band's meteoric rise, Morrison's inner turmoil and the impact of '60s counterculture.
Credit: Q Productions
Selena is a biographical film released in 1997 and directed by Gregory Nava, presenting the life and career of Tejano musical sensation Selena Quintanilla. Jennifer Lopez gives an outstanding performance as Selena, capturing the singer's charisma and talent. The film explores Selena's rise to fame, family dynamics and tragic end, leaving a lasting cultural impact.
Respect is a biographical film directed by Liesl Tommy and released in 2021, starring Jennifer Hudson as the iconic Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. The film recounts Franklin's journey from her early days in gospel music to becoming a global sensation. Hudson's powerful performance and the film's stirring soundtrack pay tribute to Franklin's enduring legacy.
La Bamba (1987)
Credit: Columbia Pictures
La Bamba, released in 1987 and directed by Luis Valdez, is a biographical film retracing the life of rock and roll pioneer Ritchie Valens. Lou Diamond Phillips plays Valens, capturing his rise to fame and tragic death at a young age. The film celebrates Valens' musical legacy and cultural impact with a vibrant soundtrack.
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
Elvis, directed by Baz Luhrmann and released in 2022, recounts the life of American music icon Elvis Presley, played by Austin Butler, from his childhood to becoming a rock and movie star in the 1950s while maintaining a complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
Get On Up (2014)
Credit: Universal Pictures
Released in 2014, Get On Up, directed by Tate Taylor, is a biographical film illustrating the tumultuous life of James Brown, the godfather of soul. Chadwick Boseman delivers a remarkable performance, capturing Brown's electrifying stage presence and complex personal story. The film explores the highs and lows of Brown's career, leaving a lasting impression.
Credit: Paramount Pictures
Rocketman, directed by Dexter Fletcher and released in 2019, is a fantastic musical biopic depicting the life of Elton John. Taron Egerton delivers a captivating performance, illustrating the superstar's journey from prodigious pianist to international music icon. The film creatively integrates Elton's hits, offering a visually stunning and emotionally resonant exploration of his life.