Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson will play diva Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic, Clive Davis revealed at a Grammys party, Rolling Stone reports. Davis announced the project while introducing Hudson, who was set to perform a medley of Franklin’s hits.
“When the biopic of the great Aretha Franklin is filmed next year, the artist anointed by Aretha herself to play her is the next performer. Aretha personally told me that last week,” Davis said. Davis signed Franklin in 1980 and he signed Hudson after her stint on the seventh season of American Idol.
“This artist to us is a transcendent performer. She stops any and every show she’s in. Her voice is truly incredible,” Davis continued. “When they ask, ‘Where’s the next Aretha, where the next Aretha will come from?’ I say it’s [Hudson]. She’s in the studio right now recording what I hope will be a classic album… she’s in the tradition of Adele, she’s a singer’s singer.”
Hudson has paid tribute to the legendary Franklin several times before. In 2014, Franklin said that Hudson and Broadway legend Audra McDonald were on the shortlist to play her in a film.
The Franklin biopic will be headed by Straight Outta Compton producer Scott Bernstein and Dreamgirls producer Harvey Mason, Jr.