Jennifer Hudson thunderously channeled the Queen of Soul during the 2020 BET Awards Sunday.
The singer took to a piano on the virtual stage to perform a rendition of Aretha Franklin's 1972 cover of Nina Simone's "Young, Gifted and Black," accompanied by gospel-style backing.
Hudson's performance was immediately followed by the new teaser-trailer for "Respect," the MGM biopic starring Hudson in Franklin's handpicked starring role. Both her show-stopping cover performance and the teaser served a timely reminder of Franklin's indelible contributions as a civil rights activist and pioneer who championed the Black Lives Matter moment.
Directed by acclaimed theater director Liesl Tommy, Respect portrays Franklin’s life from her roots in her childhood Detroit church to her reign in the spotlight as one of music's biggest stars through the 60's. Written by Callie Khouri, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Thelma and Louise, and Tracey Scott Wilson, the film also features Audra McDonald, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Tate Donovan, Heather Headley, and Skye Dakota Turner.
The new teaser gave preview to some of Franklin's work as a persevering activist as Hudson, portraying Franklin, "You have to disturb the peace, when you can't get no peace."
Though Respect was originally slated for release in the fall, the film is now scheduled for a limited run release on Christmas Day, with wide release in early 2021.