Skye Dakota Turner: 5 Things About The 12-Year-Old Breakout Star Playing Young Aretha In ‘Respect’

Skye Dakota Turner is Hollywood's next big thing. The 12-year-old is a total standout as a young Aretha Franklin in the new biopic 'Respect.' Here's what you need to know about Skye.

Skye Dakota Turner
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Image Credit: Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock

Skye Dakota Turner is a force to be reckoned with in the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, which hits theaters on August 13. Her powerhouse performance as the young Aretha will leave you with chills. Skye is truly a star on the rise.

Respect marks Skye’s feature film debut. So, who is Skye Dakota Turner? HollywoodLife has 5 key things you need to know about this young actress and singer who is just 12 years old.

Skye Dakota Turner
Skye Dakota Turner with Audra McDonald in ‘Respect.’ (Quantrell D. Colbert/MGM)

1. Skye Dakota Turner is the breakout star of ‘Respect.’

Skye plays a young version of Aretha Franklin at the beginning of the biopic about the Queen of Soul. Skye dazzles with her incredible voice and acting prowess at such a young age. Jennifer Hudson plays the adult version of Aretha. Respect is Skye’s first-ever film, but it will certainly not be her last.

2. She’s played another music legend on Broadway.

Prior to taking on the role of the young Aretha Franklin, Skye also played a young Tina Turner in the Broadway production Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. She starred in the show before Broadway shut down in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her role in Tina marked her Broadway debut.

3. Skye is from Dallas.

Skye is a native of the Oak Cliff neighborhood in Dallas County, Texas. Before making it into Respect, Skye performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

4. Skye went viral after Patti LaBelle noticed her.

Skye really started to get noticed when Patti LaBelle reposted a video on Instagram of Skye singing Patti’s 1983 hit “If Only You Knew” in 2018. Patti raved at the time that Skye was “awesome.” The two later met on Steve Harvey’s talk show. Skye was performing when Patti made a surprise appearance.

Skye Dakota Turner
Skye Dakota Turner and Jennifer Hudson at the ‘Respect’ premiere. (Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock)

5. She has performed on television several times. 

She performed on The Steve Harvey Show in 2019, which is when she met Patti. Skye also performed during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade that same year. In 2020, she was a musical guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

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