Jennifer Hudson Believes She Knows Why Aretha Franklin Picked Her for the Biopic ‘Respect’

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Prior to her death on 2018, music legend Aretha Franklin chose former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson to portray her in her long-awaited biopic, ‘Respect.’

The award-winning actress spoke with CNN about her speculations on why the icon selected her to depict her.


“This is beyond singing and acting,” Hudson tells CNN. “I think she saw something in me…I would not have been able to go as deep as I did to tell the story in an honest way without my own life experiences. So, I think she saw that in me, as well as everything else as far as being an actress and a singer.”

Hudson has always had tremendous respect for the Queen of Soul. In 2004 Hudson became a finalist on the hit reailty television singing competition American idol. During the auditioning process, Hudson sang Franklin’s song “Share Your Love With Me” to impress the judges.

Fast forward to 2021, Hudson has continuously expressed the impact of portraying such a musical powerhouse.

“I do not take it lightly,” the singer tells Essence. “Receiving a blessing from people like Whitney, Aretha, Mariah, and son many other greats, it’s some strong shoulders to stand on.”

“I just want to represent all the people that I’ve always looked up to in the best way I possibly can,” the singer adds. “And use my gift to make a difference in the right way. So often, people use their instruments and gifts as weapons, and that’s not what it’s for. So I try to use mine to uplift, to help, and to bless. That’s what’s important to me.”

‘Respect’ hits theaters this Friday.