Jennifer Hudson to play Aretha Franklin in upcoming biopic

NEW YORK — Jennifer Hudson has been chosen to play Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic by the Queen of Soul herself, according to legendary record producer Clive Davis.

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Rolling Stone reported that Davis announced the news while introducing Hudson at a pre-Grammys gala in honor of JAY-Z, where Hudson performed 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 of the Oscar- and Grammy-winning actress and singer.

“This artist to us is a transcendent performer. She stops any and every show she’s in. Her voice is truly incredible. 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.”

Deadline reported a that a biopic about Franklin has quietly been in development at MGM.

At one point in time, Franklin leaned toward selecting Halle Berry for the role. In 2011, she told Billboard that the movie would primarily feature her own recordings. "A lot of movies come out where it's the original artist and their songs are lip-sung to. That is how it would turn out if it's Halle. If not — if, for instance, it's Jennifer Hudson — she might sing one or two, but the rest would still be my original records. We're definitely going to use the original records. I may re-record some things, too."

Hudson earned an Academy Award in 2007 for best supporting actress for her role in "Dreamgirls," a 2006 movie inspired by Motown and The Supremes which was based on the successful 1981 Broadway musical.

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