Prince And Five Other Musical Legends Who Need Their Own Biopics

Bohemian Rhapsody reminded audiences that seeing our favorite musical legends on the big screen can be a captivating experience. Rami Malek's transformation as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury reminded fans of his position in rock and roll royalty and brought those unfamiliar with the band up to speed on its history.

The Queen biopic is now not only the most-successful music biopic to date, with over $774 million in earnings at the worldwide box office, but it also took home the Golden Globe for Best Picture in the drama category. It's not the only music biopic in the works either.

Coming this May, Elton John will be the subject of a "musical fantasy" film starring Taron Egerton, titled Rocketman too, which will hopefully pique the interest of his fans as Bohemian Rhapsody did. Successful music biopics breed more music biopics and there are a ton of icons whose stories have yet to grace the screen.

So, come along with me through the most legendary contemporary musicians of our time as we imagine what a biopic starring their stardom could look like... because these phenomena deserve a cinematic approach. Let's go:

Madonna - The First Album 1985

(Image credit: (Sire Records Company))


She's the certified "queen of pop" and has paved the way for so many female artists of today, will she live to tell the story behind her rise to groundbreaking to mega fame? Madonna's career is defined by the colorful, vibrant MTV age of the '80s music scene.

I'd imagine a musical biopic based on her early days should be just as energetic and fun as her career started as, radiantly strutting the streets of NYC in her trendsetting fashion as she set out to "rule the world," define '80s pop and became a sex symbol.

A script called Blonde Ambition is reportedly in the works by Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) assistant to director, Elyse Hollander but Madonna has made it clear that telling her story without her involvement doesn't have her approval. So, Blonde Ambition may never see the light of day. Still, seeing the pop icon's beginnings on screen would be a blast. It needs to happen at some point.

David Bowie Aladdin Sane album cover 1973

(Image credit: (RCA))

David Bowie

He spent his career constantly going through an evolution of distinct characters, such as Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke. He also explored eclectic realms of music stylings and was all over the map. With the right vision, a biopic about David Bowie could be absolutely epic.

It would also be one that would demand some peculiar artistic take and bend the rules of typical "based on a true story" formatting to reflect the "Space Oddity" of its subject. Some fans have pitched that a different actor should play Bowie in each of his eras. This would give each of his personas time to shine, potentially more as he saw them -- as completely different parts of himself.

The glam rocker's life seems to be begging to be told for the millions of fans who mourned his untimely 2016 death and the many who are intrigued but did not witness his story when he rose to prominence in the '70s.

Aretha Franklin 1986 Aretha album

(Image credit: (Arista))

Aretha Franklin

We've just recently lost the Queen of Soul, so now is the perfect time to turn back the clock and remember just who she was in her heyday. Her most famous song "Respect" wasn't just her greatest hit, it was an anthem for the civil rights movement of the '60s. Aretha voiced her activism through song and with a tour alongside Martin Luther King Jr.

While the Civil Rights Movement has been tackled on film many times over, taking the opportunity to highlight it through this iconic vocalist who defined it through art would be important, moving -- not to mention music to our ears.

A biopic for Franklin is currently in motion starring Jennifer Hudson and to be written and directed by Liesl Tommy. It's been in the works for quite a while now, so let's hope this version is the one that sticks and gets off the ground -- especially since Hudson should be a perfect fit for the role.

George Michael 1987 Faith Album Cover

(Image credit: (Columbia Records))

George Michael

While Bohemian Rhapsody's Freddie Mercury opens the conversation of an icon hiding his sexuality and struggle with AIDS at a time when the world wasn't ready for it, George Michael's story could push it forward from his career's interesting perspective.

George Michael of Wham! came out publicly in 1998, lost a lover to AIDS and wrote an anthem for the LGBT community titled "FREEDOM! '90." He embodied a generation of the community in the '90s when some of the fear and pushback was starting to fade a bit.

He's a mainstream pop star who started making hits such as "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" with his duo and then later moved on to a solo career. His music defines a specific age of pop music in the '80s (one Madonna was also a part of), but his story would stand out among many of the others who also came from that era.

Amy Winehouse 2006 Back To Black album

(Image credit: (Island Records))

Amy Winehouse

Long have musicians' stories been characterized by drug usage and downward spirals associated with fame. While Amy Winehouse's struggle may have seemed to be just another one of these stories, it's rooted in a resilient struggle with a lifetime of mental illness.

In her short 27 years, she dealt with eating disorders, a troubling relationship with her father, drug and alcohol abuse, even depression -- and at the same time was able to become a pop icon known for "Back to Black" and "Rehab."

2015's critically-acclaimed documentary on the singer Amy highlighted her incredible life; regardless, giving a talented actress a shot to play her and the events of her life could be beautiful, emotional and essential viewing if handled delicately and with love.

Prince and the Revolution 1984 Let's Go Crazy album cover

(Image credit: (Warner Bros.))


As his name implies, he's music royalty who deserves a place on the big screen just as one "Killer Queen" Freddie Mercury got his shot at with Rami Malek's portrayal. He's an incredible pioneer for a variety of genres including rock, funk and pop -- and not to mention how effortless cool he was.

He experimented, dazzled and notably helped give artists their own creative power of their music with his resistance to how things were in the music industry upon arrival. He pushed boundaries, challenged gender norms, all while being exactly himself.

From his film Purple Rain, to his time on MTV's hottest music video and so on, Prince is groundbreaking and deserves a biopic that is just as he was.

As Bohemian Rhapsody continues to celebrate its massive success and Rocketman's doesn't seem too far away -- there are many more musical legends' stories to be told that could tell some interesting, fun, impactful and musically-packed stories of the greatest hits of their lives.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.