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Jennifer Hudson shows off her powerhouse vocal chops as Aretha Franklin in Respect trailer


Jennifer Hudson showed off her powerhouse vocal chops as she transformed into Aretha Franklin in a new trailer for Respect.

The 39-year-old actress, who won an Oscar in 2007 for the movie musical Dreamgirls, belted out Aretha’s hits for the biopic including the iconic title song.

Respect, which is the Aretha biopic that the late singer’s family have approved of, comes after a miniseries on her life led by Broadway star Cynthia Erivo.

Incredible: Jennifer Hudson showed off her powerhouse vocal chops as she transformed into Aretha Franklin in a new trailer for Respect

The inspiration: Franklin performs at Radio City Music Hall in New York in 2012

The inspiration: Franklin performs at Radio City Music Hall in New York in 2012

The new trailer for respect begins with Aretha as a little girl sitting at the piano with her mother Barbara, played by musical theater dynamo Audra McDonald.

Barbara, herself a gospel singer, lovingly teaches her daughter to sing and tells her: ‘Singing is sacred, Re, and you shouldn’t do it just because somebody wants you to.’ 

Aretha’s mother sternly reminds her at the piano: ‘What’s most important is that you are treated with dignity and respect.’

When she is just 10 years old Aretha hears that her ‘talent’ is at the level of ‘genius,’ and she is described as ’10, but her voice is going on 30, honey.’

Uncanny: The new trailer for the movie, which will get a theatrical release in August, was accompanied by two posters

Uncanny: The new trailer for the movie, which will get a theatrical release in August, was accompanied by two posters

Throwback chic: One showed Aretha onstage in a frock straight out of the 1960s, while another depicted her in profile against a green backdrop

Throwback chic: One showed Aretha onstage in a frock straight out of the 1960s, while another depicted her in profile against a green backdrop

Acclaimed: The 39-year-old actress, who won an Oscar in 2007 for the movie musical Dreamgirls, belted out Aretha's hits for the biopic including the iconic title song

Acclaimed: The 39-year-old actress, who won an Oscar in 2007 for the movie musical Dreamgirls, belted out Aretha’s hits for the biopic including the iconic title song

Runs in the family: The new trailer for respect begins with Aretha as a little girl sitting at the piano with her mother Barbara, played by musical theater dynamo Audra McDonald

Runs in the family: The new trailer for respect begins with Aretha as a little girl sitting at the piano with her mother Barbara, played by musical theater dynamo Audra McDonald

Herself a gospel singer: Barbara lovingly teaches her daughter to sing and tells her: 'Singing is sacred, Re, and you shouldn't do it just because somebody wants you to'

Herself a gospel singer: Barbara lovingly teaches her daughter to sing and tells her: ‘Singing is sacred, Re, and you shouldn’t do it just because somebody wants you to’

Her father C.L. Franklin, a civil rights activist and Baptist minister portrayed by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, is glimpsed walking little Aretha into a party.

Aretha was just 10 when she lost her then 32-year-old mother to a heart attack, and her singing career began shortly thereafter managed by her father.

When she becomes a grown woman, played by Jennifer, Aretha is confronted in a dressing room by singing star Dinah Washington.

Dinah, played by Mary J. Blige, taunts her by asking how many albums she has cut and when Aretha answers: ‘Four,’ she sneers: ‘And no hits.’ 

Born for greatness: When she is just 10 years old Aretha hears that her 'talent' is at the level of 'genius,' and she is described as '10, but her voice is going on 30, honey'

Born for greatness: When she is just 10 years old Aretha hears that her ‘talent’ is at the level of ‘genius,’ and she is described as ’10, but her voice is going on 30, honey’

There he is: Her father C.L. Franklin, a civil rights activist and Baptist minister portrayed by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, is glimpsed walking little Aretha into a party

There he is: Her father C.L. Franklin, a civil rights activist and Baptist minister portrayed by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, is glimpsed walking little Aretha into a party

History: Aretha was just 10 when she lost her then 32-year-old mother to a heart attack, and her singing career began shortly thereafter managed by her father

History: Aretha was just 10 when she lost her then 32-year-old mother to a heart attack, and her singing career began shortly thereafter managed by her father

Adult Aretha: When she becomes a grown woman, played by Jennifer, Aretha is confronted in a dressing room by singing star Dinah Washington

Adult Aretha: When she becomes a grown woman, played by Jennifer, Aretha is confronted in a dressing room by singing star Dinah Washington

Not giving an inch: Dinah, played by Mary J. Blige, taunts her by asking how many albums she has cut and when Aretha answers: 'Four,' she sneers: 'And no hits'

Not giving an inch: Dinah, played by Mary J. Blige, taunts her by asking how many albums she has cut and when Aretha answers: ‘Four,’ she sneers: ‘And no hits’

She does offer some friendly advice to the younger singer: ‘Honey, find the songs that move you. Until you do that you ain’t going nowhere.’ 

‘I need you to focus and avoid frivolous distractions,’ says her minister father in his capacity as her manager – only for a major diversion to come along.

The smoldering Marlon Wayans materializes as Aretha’s first husband Ted White, who eventually succeeded her father as her manager.

Music however remains constantly on her mind, with her mouthing lyrics and tapping out a beat even whilst sat in the car.

Uh oh: 'I need you to focus and avoid frivolous distractions,' says her minister father in his capacity as her manager - only for a major diversion to come along

Uh oh: ‘I need you to focus and avoid frivolous distractions,’ says her minister father in his capacity as her manager – only for a major diversion to come along

Dashing: The smoldering Marlon Wayans materializes as Aretha's first husband Ted White, who eventually succeeded her father as her manager

Dashing: The smoldering Marlon Wayans materializes as Aretha’s first husband Ted White, who eventually succeeded her father as her manager

Seen onstage: Music however remains constantly on her mind, with her mouthing lyrics and tapping out a beat even whilst sat in the car

Seen onstage: Music however remains constantly on her mind, with her mouthing lyrics and tapping out a beat even whilst sat in the car

Eventually the trailer even offers a window in to the process of developing her iconic version of the song Respect which became a women’s rights anthem.

Although the song was written and originally sung by Otis Redding, it was the Aretha version that introduced the famous verse where she spells out: ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T.’

In one scene Aretha is tinkling at her piano and softly sings: ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T, finds out what it means to me….’ instantly capturing the attention of her backup singers.

The two other ladies sit down beside her on the piano stool and when one calls her ‘ReRe,’ it inspires their backup vocal: ‘Ree, ree, ree, ree….’

Solidarity: Eventually the trailer even offers a window in to the process of developing her iconic version of the song Respect which became a women's rights anthem

Solidarity: Eventually the trailer even offers a window in to the process of developing her iconic version of the song Respect which became a women’s rights anthem

Musical matters: Although the song was written and originally sung by Otis Redding, it was the Aretha version that introduced the famous verse where she spells out: 'R-E-S-P-E-C-T'

Musical matters: Although the song was written and originally sung by Otis Redding, it was the Aretha version that introduced the famous verse where she spells out: ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’

Trio: In one scene Aretha is tinkling at her piano and softly sings: 'R-E-S-P-E-C-T, finds out what it means to me....' instantly capturing the attention of her backup singers

Trio: In one scene Aretha is tinkling at her piano and softly sings: ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T, finds out what it means to me….’ instantly capturing the attention of her backup singers

Jennifer then delivers an astonishing approximation of Aretha’s voice as she thunders out the completed version of the song onstage.

Naturally she also channels Aretha’s distinctive 1960s glamour, including shimmering floor-length gowns and a throwback bouffant.

Stardom comes instantly with Aretha hounded by photographers and posing with music industry titan Jerry Wexler (Marc Maron).

However her marriage to Ted begins presenting problems and she has to warn him: ‘You’re not about to mess this up for me!’ 

Naturally: She also channels Aretha's distinctive 1960s glamour, including shimmering floor-length gowns and a throwback bouffant

Naturally: She also channels Aretha’s distinctive 1960s glamour, including shimmering floor-length gowns and a throwback bouffant

Dynamic trio: Stardom comes instantly with Aretha hounded by photographers and posing with music industry titan Jerry Wexler (Marc Maron, left)

Dynamic trio: Stardom comes instantly with Aretha hounded by photographers and posing with music industry titan Jerry Wexler (Marc Maron, left)

The lady herself: Jennifer, whom Aretha had personally selected to play her in the biopic, then launches into a stirring rendition of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

The lady herself: Jennifer, whom Aretha had personally selected to play her in the biopic, then launches into a stirring rendition of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

Jennifer, whom Aretha had personally selected to play her in the biopic, then launches into a stirring rendition of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.

During the song the trailer shows her confronting a host of professional and personal problems and having to insist that ‘I know how to run my business.’

‘Have you lost your mind?’ Aretha’s father asks her incredulously in one scene to which she replies: ‘Maybe I found it.’

Tony-winning director Liesl Tommy is making her feature film directorial debut with Respect which comes from a screenplay by playwright Tracey Scott Wilson.

Taking charge: During the song the trailer shows her confronting a host of professional and personal problems and having to insist that 'I know how to run my business'

Taking charge: During the song the trailer shows her confronting a host of professional and personal problems and having to insist that ‘I know how to run my business’

Discovering herself: 'Have you lost your mind?' Aretha's father asks her incredulously in one scene to which she replies: 'Maybe I found it'

Discovering herself: ‘Have you lost your mind?’ Aretha’s father asks her incredulously in one scene to which she replies: ‘Maybe I found it’

The new trailer for the movie, which will get a theatrical release in August, was accompanied by two posters.

One showed Aretha onstage in a frock straight out of the 1960s, while another depicted her in profile against a green backdrop. 

Meanwhile the Cynthia Erivo miniseries was part of the National Geographic anthology show Genius which previously covered Einstein and Picasso.

Aretha’s relatives denounced the show and her granddaughter Grace said on TikTok that the makers had refused the family’s attempts to be involved with it.

Incoming: Tony-winning director Liesl Tommy is making her feature film directorial debut with Respect which comes from a screenplay by playwright Tracey Scott Wilson

Incoming: Tony-winning director Liesl Tommy is making her feature film directorial debut with Respect which comes from a screenplay by playwright Tracey Scott Wilson

Details: Respect (pictured), which is the Aretha biopic that the late singer's family have approved of, comes after a miniseries on her life led by Broadway star Cynthia Erivo

Details: Respect (pictured), which is the Aretha biopic that the late singer’s family have approved of, comes after a miniseries on her life led by Broadway star Cynthia Erivo



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