Jennifer Hudson handpicked by singer to star in her biopic

Photo credit: Splash News

Jennifer Hudson is to play Aretha Franklin in a new biopic after the “Respect” singer handpicked the actress herself.

Record executive Clive Davis made the announcement as he introduced Hudson’s performance at a pre-Grammy party, according to Deadline.

The 36-year-old Oscar-winning actress and former “American Idol” star then sang “Think”and “Respect” for the star-studded audience.

A movie about Franklin’s life and work has been in development at MGM since 2011.

The 75-year-old Queen Of Soul’s music spans six decades, with her first record deal, a Gospel album, being released in 1956.

She has gone on to release a string of acclaimed hits, including “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Spanish Harlem” and “I Say A Little Prayer.”

Last year, Franklin revealed plans to retire and move to Detroit to open a nightclub.

The “Respect” hitmaker said, “In my retirement plan, I’d like to have a small club here in Detroit.

“It would be Aretha’s!

“From time to time I would sing, and of course, I would have special artists come in to perform for the city that people in Detroit like – Detroit favorites.”

Aretha’s final album, a collaboration with Stevie Wonder, is due for release later this year, following a 57-year career.

Last year, Franklin was forced to pull out of several live shows due to unknown health issues. In 2010, she canceled a series of concerts to undergo emergency abdominal surgery.

Hudson won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2007 for her role in Dreamgirls, playing Effie White, a character inspired by Supremes member Florence Ballard.



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