Jennifer Hudson will play music legend Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic. Music pioneer and mentor Clive Davis revealed the great news over the weekend when he introduced her at his annual pre-Grammys gala.
“When the biopic of the great Aretha Franklin is filmed next year, the artist anointed by Aretha herself to play her is the next performer,” said Davis. “Aretha personally told me that last week.”
Davis, who helped launch both Franklin and Hudson’s career, also compared J-Hud to Adele before she took the stage to perform a medley of Aretha classics including “Think,” “Rock Steady,” and “Respect.”
“This artist to us is a transcendent performer,” he added. “She stops any and every show she’s in. Her voice is truly incredible. When they ask, ‘Where’s the next Aretha, where the next Aretha will come from?’ I say it’s [Hudson]. She’s in the studio right now recording what I hope will be a classic album… she’s in the tradition of Adele; she’s a singer’s singer.”
It’s not the first time Hudson has honored Franklin; she sang tributes at the Grammys (2011) and BET Awards (2014).
J-Hud celebrated the news on Instagram, writing: “I don’t even know what to say …. look at God !#Arethafranklin u have no idea how humbled, I am!”
Franklin’s musical legacy spans six decades, from her first recording as a young gospel singer, to her most recent release, ‘A Brand New Me: Aretha Franklin with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.’ She has scored countless hits, including the reinvention of Otis Redding’s ‘Respect.’ She is one of the most honored artists in Grammy Award history, and is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the NAACP Hall of Fame, the Gospel music Hall of Fame and in 2005 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Straight Outta Compton’s Scott Bernstein and music producer Harvey Mason Jr. will produce the much-anticipated film.