The release of RESPECT, focusing on the challenges of the 1960s Aretha Franklin and her struggle to find her sound is being released on the weekend of August that marks three years since her passing. She pioneered the rise of soul music during some of the most volatile times in civil history. Many identified with her music which many would resonate with in the yearning for African American expression. It changed the way a generation heard, saw and experience music.

The following video featurette gives insight into the extra mile Jennifer Hudson went to, in honouring that legacy in her portrayal. Aretha Franklin’s musicality had it’s foundations in gospel, which she honed into popular melodies that generations even today still know. They weren’t just songs, they were rallies of strength, assertion and suave.

(Play video featurette)

Our favorite Jennifer Hudson moments:

American Idol
When we first saw Jennifer Hudson, her early exit from American Idol would never have foreseen the success she would experience forging a career in music, theatre and film.

Fan mail poured in after Jennifer Hudson’s suprise exit from the show, which was one of the reason’s that led to American Idol bringing in the new “Save” rule in season 8.

The Colour Purple

When the 1980s Steven Spielberg story was adapted for the stage, it’s touching tale that explore a woman’s self awakening across four decades was given a new lease of life with a gospel flavoured score of jazz, ratime, african music and blues. Yet to arrive in Australia, its success has continued for 15 years now on Broadway and the West End.

Jennifer played Shug Avery and this performance at the Kennedy Centre, sees original film cast member, Oprah Winfrey (who played Sofia) enjoy one of the musical’s spine tingling anthems originally performed by Cynthia Erivio.


Not only was this film Jennifer Hudson’s debut, but recognition of her rare talent taking home the Oscar for Best Supporting actress alongside Beyonce Knowles as Effie White. She also appeared as Carrie Bradshaw’s personal assistant, in the Sex and the City feature film.

DIRECTED BY: Liesl Tommy
WRITTEN BY: Tracey Scott Wilson
PRODUCERS: Scott Bernstein, Harvey Mason Jr.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Stacy Sher, Sue Baden-Powell, Aaron L. Gilbert and Jason Cloth

The cast includes Jennifer Hudson, 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 and the official release date of Aretha Franklin’s true story ‘RESPECT’ is set for August 19.

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