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: Bessie Smith, the great singer known as the "Empress of the Blues," is considered by many to be the greatest blues singer of all time. She was also a successful vaudeville entertainer who became the highest-paid African American performer of the Roaring Twenties. Chris Albertson's revised and expanded edition of the biography of this extraordinary artist debunks many of the myths that have circulated since her untimely death in 1937. Albertson writes with insight and candor about the singer's personal life and her career, supplementing his historical research with dozens of interviews with her relatives, friends, and associates, including Ruby Walker Smith, a niece by marriage who toured with Bessie for over a decade.