Jennifer Hudson Channels Aretha Franklin at the BET Awards & in All-New Respect Teaser

Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson honors the late Queen of Soul at the 2020 BET Awards!
By Alyssa Ray Jun 29, 2020 2:09 AMTags
Related: Jennifer Hudson Reflects on "Dream Girls" 10 Years Later

Doing Aretha Franklin proud.

During tonight's 2020 BET Awards, Jennifer Hudson paid tribute to the late music legend by performing "Young, Gifted and Black." The song, which was written by Nina Simone and Weldon Irvine and featured on Franklin's eighteenth studio album in 1972, is one that can still resonate with people today.

"This next artist is performing a song by a woman who didn't just sing about freedom, but was also a resounding voice in the fight for equality," host and comedian Amanda Seales noted ahead of the performance. "And the words of this song still resonate today as much as they did when she sang them almost 50 years ago."

Of course, Hudson was the perfect person to honor the Queen of Soul, who passed in 2018, as the Oscar winner is portraying her in the upcoming biographical film, Respect.

Dressed to the nines in an emerald green Reem Acra gown, Hudson kicked off the soulful number playing a white Grand piano.

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Hudson's powerful voice was supported by gospel back-up singers. Nonetheless, all eyes were on the Dreamgirls actress as she channeled Franklin, especially when she took center stage for a tempo change.

This performance of "Young, Gifted and Black" came mere moments before an all-new teaser trailer dropped for Respect. Directed by Liesl Tommy, Respect follows Franklin (played by Hudson)'s life from her childhood days to her international fame.

The first trailer for the film dropped in December 2019, one year prior to the bio-pic's actual release date. "Much R.E.S.P.E.C.T to the queen of soul," Hudson tweeted at the time.

In addition to Hudson, Respect stars Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Tate Donovan, Heather Headley, Skye Dakota Turner and Mary J. Blige.

Now, if you can't wait until December to see Hudson as Franklin, you can catch her show-stopping BET Awards performance above and the all-new Respect teaser, also above.