Oscar and Grammy award-winning actress/singer Jennifer Hudson is set to play the Queen of Soul in the upcoming biopic about the life of Aretha Franklin. This was revealed by Clive Davis during his pre-Grammy party. Davis introduced the 36-year old to the stage and then made the surprising announcement. According to the reports, Aretha Franklin handpicked Hudson for the role.
MGM studios picked up the project and will finance it, while the role of executive producers will be taken by Straight Outta Compton‘s Scott Bernstein and music producer Harvey Mason Jr. who collaborated with Franklin during her career. Hudson and Mason Jr. previously also worked together on the film Dreamgirls, for which Hudson received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Jennifer Hudson rose to fame after participating in the third season of American Idol. She then landed the role of Effie White in Dreamgirls, delivering a critically acclaimed performance which brought her roles in movies like Sex and the City, Winnie Mandela, and Monster. Hudson found success in the music world as well, with her debut album Jennifer Hudson receiving a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. She obviously has the talent required for the role of Aretha Franklin.
Aretha Franklin is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with over 75 million records sold during her 60 years long career. She won a total of 18 Grammy Award including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994 and was also the first performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Franklin recorded 41 studio albums, with 2014s Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, on which she covered ten famous female artist songs, being most recent one.