Queen Bee from Dolemite Is My Name: Who was the real life Lady Reed?

Da'Vine Joy Randolph as Lady Reed aka Queen Bee
Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Lady Reed aka Queen Bee. Pic credit: Netflix

Dolemite Is My Name hit Netflix this weekend starring Eddie Murphy as the legendary actor/comedian Rudy Ray Moore.

The film depicts the inspiring story of how Moore refused to give up on his dreams as an entertainer despite naysayers, setbacks, and life struggles. It’s also one of the best films from Murphy in years.

But Moore is not the only inspiring figure of the film. Director Craig Brewer also knew Lady Reed was a monumental figure of her time as well. And just like her presence in real life, Queen Bee nearly steals the show.

Here is everything to know about the real Lady Reed and why she truly was the Queen Bee.

Who was the real Queen Bee from Dolemite Is My Name?

Lady Reed was the Queen Bee everyone needed long before Beyoncé became a pop culture icon. Lady Reed was one of the women who led the way for Queens everywhere. She had every reason to fail at life, took those reasons and let them make her an icon women still look up to today.

Various websites refer to her as “The Madam.” She got her start singing in jazz bars as a backup singer in the middle of nowhere and became one of the most iconic success stories of the ’70s. The new Netflix movie and her musical archive show that she is more known for comedy and spoken word, but her words would prompt a new movement in jazz years later.

According to Disco Revenge Dallas, Rudy Ray Moore helped her find her voice, and their friendship and subsequent work together changed the whole fabric of the performance scene for women everywhere. This is also conveyed in the film as well as it shows Moore recruiting her after Reed leaves her abusive boyfriend.

She gave African American women a well-deserved voice in the music scene, and the impact of that is still felt today. Her reputation is still one of a woman who pioneered the way for true feminism.

According to Tape Freaks, Queen Bee would soon take her voice and go to another place where women were notoriously underrepresented, the silver screen. According to her IMDb profile, she acted in films like Dolemite, Disco Godfather, and Petey Wheatstraw.

Unfortunately for someone who represented the big, beautiful, black, woman with such power and grace, she is sadly not talked about enough by the media. Considering the massive effect she had as an artist during her Dolemite days, this is not fair.

As gathered from this article, most information that can be found on her sadly is through mostly fan blogs, which leaves us wanting someone to get out there and do an extensive documentary on this amazing woman.

She does not even have a Wikipedia page, which in today’s age is odd.

However, what we do know is Lady Nancy Reed used her voice to deliver a message throughout every part of her career from changing the face of jazz and spoken word forever, to showcasing her talents in film.

What was that message? That a woman’s place was wherever she wanted it to be, doing whatever her heart felt like doing. And that message has carried over into music and movies today.

To hear some of Lady Reed’s iconic tracks listeners can go to Spotify or Amazon Music.

Dolemite is now streaming on Netflix.

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