Get to Know the 4 ‘Queens’ of ABC’s New Hip-Hop Drama
We love a comeback story.
Twenty years after the fictional ’90s hip-hop group Nasty Bitches broke up, its four female members are living very different lives when they reunite in the drama’s premiere — and rebrand themselves as Queens. Exec producer Zahir McGhee makes the introductions.
1. Brianna/Professor Sex
Now married with five children, Brianna (Eve) realizes her perfect family life isn’t so perfect. The former sex symbol, who famously climbed down from a helicopter wearing a bikini in a music video, is “trying to get back that swagger,” says McGhee. “It’s a relatable struggle to anyone who’s entering middle age or sacrificed a lot for other people.”
2. Naomi/Explicit Lyrics
The musical genius of the group assumed she’d finally get her due as a solo singer-songwriter. When we meet Naomi (Brandy), “she’s playing in a dive bar in Nashville in front of five people,” McGhee says. Reuniting could be a blessing or a curse. First, she has issues to work out with her rival, Valeria, and her estranged daughter.
3. Jill/Da Thrill
After being closeted by her religion and by the industry, Jill (Naturi Naughton) — a devout Catholic married to a man — has, at last, found someone to love. “The question for her is, how can she come out now?” McGhee says. “Can she be this hip-hop star and a lesbian woman?”
4. Valeria/Butter Pecan
Valeria (Nadine Velazquez), dubbed “deliciously ambitious” by McGhee, did whatever it took to become a successful talk-show host. When that career implodes, the outsider, who was abandoned as a child, finally begins to see the band as a family. “She finds something profound,” the EP says, then adds, “but she’ll always be struggling with what’s best for the group vs. what’s best for [herself].”
Queens, Series Premiere, Tuesday, October 19, 10/9c, ABC