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Aretha Franklin biopic to star Jennifer Hudson

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Aretha Franklin’s long-awaited biopic now has a star.

Music executive Clive Davis, the Queen of Soul’s longtime executive producer, announced during his Grammy Awards party on Saturday, Jan. 27, that Jennifer Hudson will portray Franklin in the film. The “American Idol” runner-up, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2007 for her performance in “Dreamgirls,” sang two Franklin favorites, “Respect” and “Think,” during the gala.

Franklin, according to Davis, gave the Hudson casting her blessing.

Davis offered no other details about the film. Last year the Bloomfield Hills-based Franklin said that the project, which has been in the works since 2011, is “in development” and “looking for investors.” The Hudson announcement was the first concrete information about the biopic.

Franklin currently has four concerts set for this year, in Boston, Toronto and Newark, N.J., as well as an April 28 appearance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

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