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Jennifer Hudson Chosen To Play Aretha Franklin In Upcoming Biopic

By Naia Carlos | Jan 29, 2018 11:10 AM EST

Jennifer Hudson is marking another milestone in her career as she takes on the role of Aretha Franklin in a biopic of the soul legend.

The Oscar and Grammy award winner is handpicked by the music icon herself.

Clive Davis made the cast announcement after a stirring performance by Hudson during his pre-Grammy party before the awards show. The singer proceeded to sing a number of Franklin hits including "(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman" and "Think."

Davis enjoys a close relationship with the Queen of Soul, whose biopic has been in the works with MGM for some time now.

The film will be produced by Scott Bernstein of Straight Outta Compton. Music producer Harvey Mason Jr., who has worked with Franklin, is also involved. Mason is known for producing music for Dreamgirls, which garnered Hudson an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2006.

The American Idol alum soared beyond the reality show to find acclaim in both music and Hollywood. Aside from her award-winning role in Dreamgirls, Hudson has starred in Sex & the City, Chi-Raq, and Secret Life of Bees.

Hudson reveals how happy she is at being chosen for the role of Franklin in an exuberant post on Twitter and Instagram.

However, it's not the first time that Hudson has talked about her love of the iconic singer. Earlier this year, the Dreamgirls actress sits for an interview with The Guardian and was asked about the living people she most admires. She responds with a single name.

"Aretha Franklin," Hudson says. "I mean, she's Aretha! That says it all."

Franklin is one of the most celebrated musicians in the history of the Grammy Awards. Starting out from gospel music, the Queen of Soul has transformed into a multiple hit-maker with a number of iconic tunes that have landed her in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, NAACP Hall of Fame, and even the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Back in 2014, Franklin spoke to Billboard on her thoughts about new artists who have taken up the mantle, mentioning Hudson along with other award-winning musicians.

"I think they're doing a very good job -- Beyoncé, Alicia [Keys], Jennifer [Hudson]," she says. "I hear my influence sometimes; I know when my voice, when something I'm known for, has passed. But these young ladies, for the most part, are all very original."

Franklin will perform in the 2018 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival along with Sting, Lionel Richie, Beck, Aerosmith, and Jack White. The festival will be on April 27 to 29 and May 3 to 6.

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