Jennifer Hudson, 38, just blew us away again! The singer showed off her powerhouse vocals in the newly released trailer for Respect, which features Jennifer playing the legendary Aretha Franklin. In the 90 second clip, Jennifer covers Aretha’s signature 1967 hit “Respect,” and absolutely slayed. The biopic follows Aretha’s story from her early days as a gospel singer in Detroit, Michigan to ultimately becoming the undisputed Queen of Soul! Jennifer captured Aretha’s essence effortlessly in the short preview, and we have a feeling she’ll get plenty of buzz during awards season.
In addition to Jennifer, the highly anticipated film also stars Forest Whitaker as Aretha’s father, Marlon Wayans as Aretha’s first husband Ted White, Mary J. Blige as singer Dinah Washington, and Gilbert Glenn Brown as Martin Luther King Jr. The film comes two years after the Queen of Soul passed following a battle with cancer. She was 76-years-old at the time, and had her final performance at Elton John‘s 25th anniversary gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation in Nov. 2017.
Aretha is responsible for some of the greatest hits of all time, including “Chain of Fools,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (later covered by Whitney Houston), George Michael collaboration, “I Knew You Were Waiting” and many, many more. Through her storied career, which began in 1966 after she signed to Atlantic Records, she earned 17 Grammy awards and many other accolades.
In addition to following Aretha’s iconic career, the story will also delve into the late stars’ work as a civil rights activist. As the daughter of a prominent Black preacher in Michigan, Aretha was involved in advocating for both women’s rights and civil rights throughout her life. Memorably, she publicly spoke out in support of fellow activist Angela Davis — who recently appeared on Red Table Talk — when she was arrested and jailed in 1970. In 2017, Aretha declined to perform at the inauguration ceremony for President Donald Trump. The film, which is now set for release on Christmas Day 2020, could be another career milestone for Jennifer: the former American Idol contestant previously won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Dreamgirls.