“Ray” is a 2004 Oscar-winning film starring Jamie Foxx in a biopic about the life and career of legendary musician Ray Charles Robinson (better known as Ray Charles). Over the course of the film we see how traumatic moments from Ray’s childhood continued to haunt and impact him as an adult. There is also some insight into his career from the perspective of both its creative milestones and business dealings.
A profile of James Weldon Johnson, composer of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and prominent leader of the NAACP during the 1920s.
“Tina” is a 2021 HBO documentary about the life and career of Anna Mae Bullock better known as Tina Turner. The film covers her tumultuous marriage and professional relationship with Ike Turner that was plagued by domestic violence and other various forms of abuse. It also touched on how her childhood abandonment by her parents filled her with feelings of being unwanted and unloved. It’s a terrible story. And I hate to sound cliché but it’s also incredibly inspiring due to her desire to overcome those obstacles and seeing her achieve her dreams of creating a better life for herself.
A profile of Louis Armstrong, a legendary jazz musician who toured the world playing the trumpet and singing with his signature raspy voice.
“I Put a Spell on You” is an autobiography about the life and career of Eunice Waymon, a singer, songwriter, and pianist known professionally as Nina Simone. Unlike typical autobiographies, you get the sense that the book was likely created from interviews that she had with her co-author. And because of that, the book has a very informal tone that makes you feel like you’re sitting down and having a regular conversation with her as she tells you her life story.