Talent Recap

Jennifer Hudson Says Aretha Franklin ‘Idol’ Audition Was Her “Introduction to the World”

Jennifer HudsonRay Mickshaw/Getty Images, Leon Bennett/Getty Images

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Jennifer Hudson took the world by storm when she auditioned for American Idol back in 2004. The then-Disney Cruise Line singer performed “Share Your Love With Me” by Aretha Franklin. Since her time on the show, the singer has gone on to produce record breaking hits, star in various films, and earn many accolades. Now, things come full circle as she plays the “Queen of Soul” herself in Respect. She opened up on Kelly and Ryan to reminisce on her experience.

Jennifer Hudson Talks Aretha Franklin on Kelly and Ryan

Yesterday, Hudsdon appeared on Live with Kelly and Ryan. Ryan Seacrest was nostalgic over his memory of meeting the acclaimed singer for the first time. He then asked Hudson what she remembered about being present in the Idol audition room.


“I remember coming in and saying my name is Jennifer Hudson and I am going to sing miss Aretha Franklin ‘Share Your Love With Me’ and I did,” she replied in the interview. “However many years later now here we are, and now I’m playing Aretha Franklin, that was my introduction to the world.”

Seacrest went on to comment on the fact that Franklin hand-picked Hudson to play her in the film. It was also pointed out that the superstar, came in seventh place on American Idol. Her elimination from the show is still recalled as one of the most shocking of all time. In May 2010, the Los Angeles Times declared Hudson to be the third greatest Idol contestant in history, behind Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson.

“It’s only a story God could write,” Hudson added. “Who could think this up? To think that was the start, and now here we are 15 years later.”

Catch Respect in Theaters This Weekend

The wait is almost over! Audiences everywhere will finally have the opportunity to experience Respect on the big screen. The film will premiere on August 13 at a theater near you. Here, Hudson’s portrayal of Franklin will pay tribute to her role as a trailblazer in music. The biopic brings a new perspective into the life of the “Queen of Soul,” and demonstrates her efforts to break down barriers for Black women across generations.

Soon after, Hudson will also headline a special performance at the iconic Apollo Theater. On August 19, the artist will be featured in a performance dedicated to Black women business owners. Her appearance that evening marks the the theater’s first ever live performance since March 2020.

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