Friday, July 7, 2017

The World's Best Female Lead Singer Movies

By Jose Alberto Hermosillo
The World's Best Female Lead Singer Movies  COPYRIGHT
Cinema has taken on the glamorous, controversial, notorious, scandalous, tumultuous, and tragic lives of the most amazing female lead singers in the world.

Their music, talent, and hard work contrast with their privacy - many tragically sad stories of agony, sickness, addictions, alcohol, drugs, loneliness, depression, jail, suicide, and above all… redemption.

The motion pictures and documentaries based on women lead singers have taken some literary freedom that altered what actually happened in their lives - fans from around the world love and hate. 

For the right approach, filmmakers have chosen a musical, narrative/drama, documentary, or a television series to tell the story and serve justice to the singer's legacy.

The outstanding performers in the world whose lives have passed to an eternity in larger-than-life movies are

“La Vie en Rose.” 
Marion Cotillard as the great Édith Piaf in a larger-than-life epic. 
Oscar Winner for best actress and best makeup.
Directed by Oliver Dahan. (2007), 
France, U.K., Czech Republic.
"Coal Miner's Daughter"  
Sissy Spacek won an Oscar for her work as Loretta Lynn
Directed by Michael Apted. 
Country, (1980), 
"Lady Sings the Blues"
Diana Ross as the great Billie Holiday
Directed by Sidney J. Furie. 
 Jazz, (1972),  
Jennifer Lopez as Selena
 Directed by Gregory Nava. 
Cumbia, Ranchero, Tex/Mex., (1997), 

 The Oscar Winner documentary on life of the late singer Amy Winehouse,
Directed by Asif Kapadia, 
Pop, soul, jazz and soft rock, (2015),
The United Kingdom. 
"Katy Perry: Part of Me"
A documentary on Katy’s life and music, 
which follows her on the California Dream Tour. 
Directed by Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz. 
Pop Rock, (2012), 
“What’s Love Got to Do with it.” 
Angela Bassett was nominated for an Oscar for her incredible performance as Tina Turner
Directed by Brian Gibson. 
R&B Soul, Pop, and Rock, (1993), 
Actress Sveva Alviti plays the iconic singer DALIDA, an Egyptian born woman with a beautiful voice who went to Paris, sang in twelve languages and sold more than 170 million records worldwide.
Directed by Lisa Azuelos, (2017), 
"Lady Gaga: Five Foot Two"
Premiering at TIFF, the Netflix verité style documentary follows Lady Gaga during her concerts and behind the stage, rehearsals, and home videos that make this unique presentation. A must see!
Director Chris Moukarbel.
Pop (2017), 
“Anna German/
Ekho Lyubvi” 
Actress Darya Andreeva as the renowned Polish Singer Anna German
Directed by Ilya Malkin for Russian TV. (2011), 
"What Happened, Miss Simone?"
She was named the "High Priestess of Soul." 
An Oscar nominee documentary about the life 
of the Legend Nina Simone for Netflix.
American singer, pianist, and civil rights activist.
Directed by Liz Garbus. 
Soul, (2015), 
"Callas Forever" 
Fanny Ardant as the great Maria Callas.
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli. 
Opera, (2002), 
Italy, France, Spain, U.K., and Romania. 
An unauthorized biopic of Gloria Trevi played by Sofía Espinosa. 
Directed by Christian Keller. 
Pop, (2014),
“Violeta Went to Heaven/
 Violeta se fue a los cielos” 
Francisca Gavilán as Violeta Parra
Singer, poet, composer, and activist. 
She was the founder of the Universidad Andina 
Directed by Andrés Wood. 
Folklorist, (2011), 
Chile, Brazil, and Argentina.

20 Feet From Stardom” 
An irresistible Oscar Winner documentary  
narrates  the lives of the backup singers of several big stars. 
Directed by Morgan Neville. 
Rock, Pop, and Gospel, (2013), 
"Lola Montez"
Martine Carol plays Lola Montèz 
 An adventurous woman who ends up as a circus performer. 
Directed by Max Ophüls. (1955),
France/West Germany.
“Funny Girl” 
Barbara Streisand as Fanny Brice
a singer who goes from the Jewish slums of NY to the Ziegfeld Follies. 
Director William Wilder. 
Vaudeville, (1968), 
 “When I Leave/
Cuando me vaya.” 
Argentinean actress Libertad Lamarque plays Maria Grever
the Mexican composer who lived in N.Y. and wrote more than 800 Boleros and music for movies in Hollywood. 
Directed by Tito Davison. 
Bolero, (1954), 
 “Life with Judy Garland: 
Me & My Shadows.” 
Judy Davis plays Judy Garland in this epic TV series. 
Directed by Robert Allan Ackerman. 
Musicals, (2001) 
“Lola, la película.” 
Gala Évora portrays one of the all-time greatest Spanish singers, 
the legendary Lola Flores 
Directed by Miguel Hermoso. 
Flamenco, (2007),
Courage, Passion & Glamour in Ethiopia.” 
This documentary showcases and rescues from oblivion 
the infectious music and voice of 
Asnaketch Worku, a cultural icon in her homeland, Africa, and around the world. 
Directed by Rachel Samuel. (2013),
"Grace Jones 
The Musical of My Life"
This documentary is about the life of Grace Jones and her life and the concerts.
Directed by Sophie Fiennes, 
Disco music, (2017).
The United Kingdom.
"The Josephine Baker Story."
A T.V. movie based on the life of the famous Afro-American singer and performer
who left her country for racial discrimination and found fame in Paris - 
making 12 movies, numerous plays, and shows.
Actress Lynn Whitfield plays were the exotic and brave
Josephine Baker.
Directed by Brian Gibson. (1995), 
Sandra Barata Belo as Amália Rodriguez
Directed by Carlos Coelho da Silva.
Fado, (2008),
A TV movie about the story of the blues performer Bessie Smith during
the Great Depression Era, 
portrayed by Queen Latifah.
Directed by Dee Rees, 
Blues, (2015),
"Florence Foster Jenkins."
Meryl Streep plays an heiress with a great heart and a terrible voice, 
who wanted to be an Opera Singer.
Directed by Stephen Frears, (2016).
The United Kingdom.
Catherine Frot plays Marguerite Dumont,
a wealthy woman who wants to be an Opera Singer.
Directed by Xavier Giannoli, (2015).
France, Czech Republic, Belgium.
Queen of the Night/
 La Reina de la Noche.” 
Patricia Reyes Espindola as Lucha Reyes
the first woman in history to sing with Mariachi. 
(She has a big monument at the Mariachi Plaza, East Los Angeles).
Directed by Arturo Ripstein. 
Ranchero, (1994), 
"Sweet Dreams"
Jessica Lange as Patsy Cline. A singer who died in 
a tragic plane crash just at the peak of her the fame.
Directed by Karel Reisz. 
Country, (1985), 
“Sister Smile/
Soeur Sourire” 
Cécile de France plays the rebellious Belgian singing nun Jeannine Deckers. 
(This is the second and more accurate movie version of “The Singing Nun”). 
She was a composer, singer, and guitar player – 
Her song “Dominique” was a worldwide success. 
Directed by Stijn Coninx, (2009), 
"The Singing Nun"
Debbie Reynolds plays Sister Ann. 
Her famous ballad “Dominique” gained a worldwide success. 
(This biopic is loosely based on the real story, see “Sister Smile”). 
Directed by Henry Koster. (1966), 
“Hilary and Jackie” 
Emily Watson as Jacqueline Du Pré and 
Rachel Griffiths as Hilary Du Pré.
Jackie is a renowned cellist, her sister. Also, a prodigy remained a housewife. 
Directed by Anand Tucker. 
Classic, (1998),
The United Kingdom.
A documentary that follows the life of Chavela Vargas,
her journey and international fame singing ranchero music as well as any man
could do.
Directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi
Ranchero, (2017).
USA, Mex, Spain.
"Whitney: Can I Be Me"
A documentary that follows Whitney Huston's journey from her start to her big success, 
including some very intimate moments of her life.
Directors: Nick Broomfield, Rudi Dolezal
R&B, (2017).
U.K., USA.
 “Janis: Little Girl Blue” 
A documentary about the life of the great Janis Joplin
narrated by musician Cat Power.
Directed by Amy Berg, 
Rock, (2015),
“Whisper If I Forget/
Unutursam Fidilda.” 
Actress Farah Zeynep Abdullah played Humeyra
a Turkish Pop Star with Alzheimer. 
Directed by Çagan Irmak. 
Pop, (2014), 
"I'll Cry Tomorrow" 
Susan Hayward as Lillian Roth
the Broadway, and Hollywood Star that merged her sorrows into alcohol and failing marriages. 
Directed by Daniel Mann. (1955),
“Love Me or Leave Me.” 
Doris Day plays Ruth Etting performing at the Ziegfeld Follies. 
Directed by Charles Vidor. 
Jazz, (1955), 
"Interrupted Melody"
Eleanor Parker plays Marjorie Lawrence, an Australian Opera Singer with polio. 
Directed by Curtis Bernhardt. 
Opera, (1955), 
“The Helen Morgan Story” 
Ann Blyth played the torch singer Helen Morgan
Directed by Michael Curtiz. (1957), 

“Somebody Loves Me” 
Betty Hutton plays Blossom Seeley
Directed by Irving Brecher. (1952), 
"With a Song in My Heart
The Jane Froman Story."
Susan Hayward as Jane Froman.
Directed by Walter Lang.
American Medley, (1952),
"Carmen Miranda: 
Bananas is My Business.” 
The life and fame of Carmen Miranda told in this fantastic documentary, she was known in Hollywood as
the Brazilian Bombshell. 
Director Helena Solberg. (1995), 
The United Kingdom, Brazil.
"Mercedes Sosa: 
The Voice  of Latin America"
A documentary regarding the music and lyrics were written by Mercedes Sosa in her “Nuevo Cancionero.” 
Directed by Rodrigo H. Vila. 
Folklorist, (2013), 
Actress Christine Ghawi portrayed the renowned Céline Dion.
This unauthorized biopic made for TV. 
Directed by Jeff Woolnough. 
Pop and soft rock, (2008), 
Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B.” 
Alexandra Shipp plays the tragic life of a music and video star Aaliyah for American T.V. 
Directed by Bradley Walsh. 
Soul/R&B, (2014), 
A Broadway musical based on the early days of “The Supremes.”
Directed by Bill Condon.
R&B and Soul, (2006),
"Spice World
The Spice Girls Movie."
The adventures of the famous Spice Girls traveling 
around London in a luxurious double-decker tour bus
performing for their fans.
Director Bob Spiers. (1997).
The United Kingdom.
"The Rose"
Bette Midler plays a self-destructive rock star, 
in a story loosely based on the life of 
Janis Joplin
Directed by Mark Rydell. 
Rock, (1979), 
“Walk the Line” 
A superb Oscar winning performance by Reese Witherspoon as the singer, musician, and composer 
June Carterthe second wife of Johnny Cash.
Directed by James Mangold. 
Country, (2005), 
“The Runaways” 
A biopic about the 1970’s teenage all-girl rock band named The Runaways
Directed by Floria Sigismondi. 
Rock, (2010), 
dead end follies
"The Girls in the Band."
This is a documentary about a female jazz band singers from the 1930's.
 Directed by Judy Chakin. (2013),
"The Sapphires" 
Loosely based on a true story, tells the journey of four 
Australian aborigines singers who traveled to Vietnam to perform for the troops
during the war in 1968. 
Directed by Wayne Blair. 
Cellist, (2012),
The United Kingdom, Australia.
A drama based on 
the life of the legendary singer and activist Nina Simone,
 portrayed by Dominican actress Zoe Saldana.
Directed by Cynthia Mort, (2016),
“The Linda McCartney Story.” 
Elizabeth Mitchell as Linda Eastman McCartney.
The story focuses on Paul McCartney and the group they had after the Beatles breakup in 1970 named Wings. 
Directed by Armand Mastroianni. 
Rock, (2000), 
old movies streaming blog spot
"Shooting the Moon."
"Pumpuang Duangjan"
Actress Paowalee Pornpimol plays the Queen of Thai Country Music 
Pumpuang Duangjan
Directed by Bundit Thongdee. (2011), 
"Nini's Movie/
La Pelicula de Nini."
The greatest Argentine comedy actress and singer who made a
career in Mexico during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema in put out there to remember her memory by many Argentinians. 
Directed by Raul Etchelet. 
“The Night of My Love/
A Noite do Meu Bem.” 
Regina Célia as the great Dolores Duran. 
This Brazilian film is lost, and it needs to be found.
Directed by Jece Valadâo. 
Samba, (1968), 
all music
"Mary Lou Williams: 
The Lady Who Swings the Band"
A documentary of the famous jazz pianist
Mary Lou Williams.
Directed by Carol Bash. (2015), 
"Carefully, Carefully/Cuidadito, Cuidadito"
The subject of this documentary is the famous singer, actress, and comedian María Victoria
who sang and in more than forty films
including some from 
The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema,
 and fifteen TV shows.
Directed by Sergio Muñoz Güemes. 
Bolero, (2013), 
A two-part-film made for TV about Dalida’s life which is played by Italian actress Sabrina Ferilli. 
Dalida was born in Egypt and became a French citizen, 
ranking as one of the top six most popular singers in the world.
The “Tragic Diva” sang in more than 15 languages and sold more than 170 million albums. 
Directed by Joyce Buñuel. 
Pop, (2005), 
Yaya DaCosta plays Whitney Houston in this biopic made for TV. 
Directed by Angela Bassett.
"Toni Braxton"
The TV movie about the life of the singer Toni Braxton
Special mention:
- “Madonna: Truth or Dare” (1991), a documentary about her Blond Ambition World Tour. 
- “La Mala,” young vocalist Lena Burke gets inspired by Cuban Singer La Lupe (2008), Puerto Rico.
- "Pina," the Oscar nominee documentary is based on the work of the German Choreographer Pina Bausch, directed by Wim Wenders (2011), Germany.
- "ABBA: The Movie," a documentary about a DJ that follows the famous Sweden group on tour in Australia. Directed by Robert Caswell and Lassie Hallström (1977), Australia/Sweden.
In the works:
Destiny's Child project. 
Jenni Rivera project.
Celia Cruz project
Rocio Durcal project.
Lupe Velez, 3 projects.

World Lead Singers Who Deserve a Movie:
Ailee, South Korea.
Alejandra Guzmán, Rock, Mexico.
Aretha Franklin, Soul, USA. 
Björk, Vocal, Iceland.
Cesaria Evora, Cape Verde.
Chabuca Granda, Afro-Peruvian, Perú.
Coco Lee, Pop, Hong Kong.
Consuelo Velazquez, Bolero, Mexico.
Delia Derbyshire, Electronica, U.K. 
Elis Regina, Bosa Nova, Brazil.
Ella Fitzgerald, Jazz, USA.
En Voge, Rap/Pop, USA. 
Flans, Pop, Mexico.
Karina, Pop, Venezuela.
Lata Mangeshkar, Bollywood, India.
Libertad Lamarque, Tango, Argentina/Mex.
Linda Rostandt, USA/Mexico.
Liza Minnelli, USA.
Liza Wang, Opera, Hong Kong.
Lola Beltrán, Ranchero, Mexico.
Lolita, Balads/Flamenco, Spain.
Lucha Villa, Ranchero, Mexico.
Madonna, Pop, USA.
Margarita, Cumbia, Colombia.
Marinella, Greece.
Melina Mercouri, Greece.
Mina, Italy.
Mireille Mathieu, France.
Nacha Guevara, Argentina.
Ninón Sevilla, Rumba, Mexico/Cuba.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Pakistan.
Patty Smith, Punk, USA.
Raffaella Carrà, Pop, Italy. 
Rosetta Tharpe, Rock, USA.
Sara Gonzales, Cuba.
Sarita Montiel, Spain.
Sonia Amelio, castanet player, Mexico.
Vera Lynn, vocal, U.K.

Research by: Jose Alberto Hermosillo.
Special thanks to:
Julián Hernández, Mexican filmmaker, and music in film specialist;

Images may be subject to copyright

Copyright © 2017 Festival in LA


  1. Excellent! It would be awesome to watch each of those movies.

    1. Thank you Natalia. Like 10 movies are not avialable in th US. I hope we can get them soon.

  2. Yes, I was thinking the same, about buying them on dvd or watch them some how. Now with the new timewarner streaming, Netflix and other cable companies can be easy to watch them at home. Thank you for reading Natalia. #WomenSingers