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Jennifer Hudson to receive prestigious award for Aretha Franklin biopic

Jennifer Hudson to receive prestigious award for Aretha Franklin biopic
Photo credit: Bang Media

Jennifer Hudson will be honored with a prestigious award at the Palm Springs International Film Awards.

The Respect star, 40, is to receive the top honor at the festival — the Chairman’s Award — for her “legendary performance” as the late Aretha Franklin — and her “phenomenal acting and singing talents” showcased in the biopic of the singer.

Harold Matzner, the festival’s chairman said: “In Respect, Jennifer Hudson brings to life Aretha Franklin’s rise from childhood gospel singer to international star. Hudson transforms into the Queen of Soul singing her heart out in this legendary performance. It is our honor to recognize Jennifer Hudson’s phenomenal acting and singing talents with the Chairman’s Award.”

Hudson was honored at the festival in 2007 for her Academy Award-winning performance in the screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. Previous recipients of the festival’s award include Jessica Chastain, Amy Adams, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, and many others.

When the film was released in September, Hudson spoke about her nerves to play Franklin — despite the civil rights activist handpicking her to depict her in the movie, which got its name from Franklin’s 1967 song of the same name.

She told the NME: “Even when it was time to film, I was still freaking out in my mind about it. But because she had said, ‘I want you to play me,’ that gave me the courage to be able to get through it.”

Hudson also stated her belief that the film — that she helped produce — would leave audiences with new “respect” for Aretha.

She explained: “We all have a respect for Miss Aretha Franklin, but by the time you’re done with this film, I hope you walk away with a newfound respect. When you see her humanity and all the things she overcame to prevail in life, I hope that makes you respect her even more.”

The awards will take place on Jan. 6, 2022, and the festival will commence on Jan. 17.

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