Jennifer Hudson remembers her final conversation with Aretha Franklin

Hudson was personally selected by Franklin to play her in upcoming biopic 'Respect'

Jennifer Hudson has recalled her last ever conversation with her late friend and legendary singer Aretha Franklin.

Hudson stars as Franklin in upcoming biopic, Respect, directed by Liesl Tommy, written by Tracey Scott Wilson and set for release next month.

At Sunday’s (August 8) world premiere of the film at the Regency Village Theatre in the Los Angeles district of Westwood, Hudson recalled her last conversation with Franklin, who she became friends with in the late 2000s and spoke to on a weekly basis up until Franklin’s death in 2018.


She told The Hollywood Reporter: “The last time I heard her voice was August 8. It’s odd that here we are again, on August 8, three years later.

“Right after we spoke, they told me she was no longer competent enough to speak but she sang to me on our call and we talked about my son and his cooking,” she added.

Aretha Franklin performing live
Aretha Franklin performing live CREDIT: Getty Images

“She loves to cook and so does he. I sent her a video of him cooking. I truly miss hearing from her.”

Alongside Hudson, Respect stars Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Mary J. Blige, Marc Maron, Titus Burgess and Tate Donovan.

Reviewing the upcoming film, NME wrote: “With Hudson’s impeccable vocals front and centre, Respect manages to capture the alchemy at play when Aretha heads to Muscle Shoals’ FAME Studios to find her sound as she cuts her first Top 10 single, the soulful groove of ‘I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Loved You)’.


“Rather than just highlighting her incredible voice, Respect fills out Aretha Franklin’s story, focussing on her life-long commitment to civil rights, from singing at MLK’s funeral to her support of Angela Davis, and refusing to gloss over her struggles with alcoholism, abuse and depression. The result is a film with heart, as well as an awful lot of soul.”

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