It seems as though music biopics are becoming more and more popular these days. Rolling Stone said that “Straight Outta Compton was 2015’s biggest hit”. Usually, when the artist is alive to tell their own story, it produces success.
Not only N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton was a success, the BET produced biopic miniseries, The New Edition Story also was a huge success. Although it wasn’t premiered in a theater, it still was able to break records as the most watched mini-series on a cable network. The Bobby Brown was also a huge success, which is a spin-off to The New Edition Story. Now that these two film projects are successfully produced and viewed by many viewers and fans, BBD which stands for Bell Biv DeVoe, are talking of their biopic being put into works starting in January of 2020. New Edition fans cannot wait.
Not all music biopics appealed to the fans. The Aaliyah Story, which aired on Lifetime and executive produced by Wendy Williams along with a few others, received a lot of negative feedback. Only one song by Aaliyah got cleared and majorly of the actors were not believable compared to the people who were being portrayed. Another biopic that Lifetime produced and directed by Angela Basset, was Whitney. This told the love story of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston. However once again, everyone who watched this could see that Bobby’s character wasn’t believing at all.
On social media platforms, fans and critics made jokes about Lifetime doing poorly when it to producing music biopics. Immediately after the death of Legendary Prince, a meme surfaced around with a picture of Prince with head down but looking with his eyes up and a pair of shades on. The caption says, “And yall better not let Lifetime do my movie”. This was an indication of Lifetime’s reputation for music biopic films.
On the contrary, one of Lifetime’s biopics that did very well of telling a story accurately, was the Toni Braxton biopic. But this goes back to what was stated earlier, most music biopics are successful because the artists are alive to tell the story. Notorious and All Eyez On Me, which are about rappers The Notorious B.I.G. And Tupac, were both premiered in the theaters, but the differences are that both artists are deceased. The people involved in the film did their best to each story, but you still see a few inaccuracies. Same with James Brown’s Get on up. This was a great film but could’ve been better if James Brown himself was alive to his story. Other great biopics were: Ray(Ray Charles), TLC, The Temptations, and The Jacksons: An American Dream, which told the story of the Jackson Five including legendary Michael Jackson. It’s important to give artists their flowers while they’re still alive.