Aretha Franklin’s signature song “Respect” was first recorded by Otis Redding in 1965. Only two years later, her version became classic and became part of American history.
Contributor Kelefa Sane asked Jennifer Hudson, “Why do you think the song” Respect “was such a touchstone? I asked.
“Think about what it represents,” she replied. “Will a black woman in the civil rights era come to pick up a man’s song and make it her own song, a national anthem, and tell me it was as bold as people and the expression of the time? It’s powerful? . “”
Oscar and Grammy Award-winning actress and singer Hudson plays Franklin in the new movie “Respect.”
“This movie is called’Respect’. It’s about Aretha Franklin. Based on the performance of this song, the movie will live or die, right?” Sanne asked.
“Don’t kill me!” Hudson laughed.
Click on the video player below to watch the trailer.
She said, “Of all the songs that stunned me, it’s the song that stopped me,” Wait a minute … “
“How comfortable was it to say,’I just do it?'”
“I’m going to do that! All I hear is that voice: “Jennifer, now you do” You see? And it’s kind of okay. Well, I received a march order. “
Those “March Orders” came directly from Aretha Franklin himself, who was impressed by Hudson’s performance at “Dreamgirls” in 2006 and carefully selected her for her true dream role.
Hudson said, “When we sat down, Aresa first told me,’You’re going to win an Oscar for playing me, right?'” I didn’t know, but eight years later, I was doing “Color Purple”. At that time she called me and said, “Lady, I made my decision. I want to play me, and don’t say anything.” It was like, “Yes, wife, I won’t.” ”
This movie records the joys and sorrows of Franklin’s life. She became a mother at the age of 12. She struggled to escape the influence of her father, the powerful Detroit preacher CL Franklin. She had an abusive relationship with her first husband, Ted White. And she fought alcoholism.
Sanne asked, “Do you think she was happy?”
“I think she found her happiness.”
“You feel that she didn’t always have the joy that most of us wanted from her.”
Hudson said, “Well, that’s life. It’s also something that comes with entertainers and performers and may have something to do with myself. You’re always expected to be on and happy. , To show that there was a power-in story, the life that was happening behind the song. ”
Franklin had an extraordinary voice, but when her record company persuaded her to travel to a fame recording studio in the northern town of Muscle Shoals in Alabama in 1967, she still figured out how to use it. Was there. Countless great singers recorded there: Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Etta James.
Sane caught up with Jennifer Hudson on her first visit to the legendary studio.
“It feels like that magic has happened,” Hudson said.
It was in the room and on the piano that Franklin recorded the groundbreaking song “I love you only”.
David Hood and Spooner Oldham were Muscle Shoals musicians at the session. “She didn’t know who these white men were supposed to play on Rhythm and Blues records,” Hood said. “They had a song for her, and I think none of us were very impressed with the song.”
“But haven’t you heard her singing yet?” Sanne said.
“We have never heard her. For one!”
Oldham said, “And suddenly I was just like starting Noodlelin,” and they said, “Spooner got it.”
Oldham came up with the electric piano riff. The hood was on the trombone.
“I think that was it. A couple of times we’re done,” Oldham said.
“I played in $ 95.87 as a musician,” Hood said. “And I was happy.”
“Oh, yes. Yes, it was a good salary!” Oldham laughed.
After a quarrel between Franklin’s husband and the studio owner, the session was shortened and she never returned to fame. But she continued to work with many of those musicians, including Oldham, who helped record even bigger hits a few weeks later: “Respect.”
“I’ve never heard the same thing since I came here,” Sanne said.
“It’s artistry,” Hudson said. “Because she was able to reproduce and shape it.”
To separate the role of Aretha Franklin, 39-year-old Hudson put herself into what she calls the “Aretha School.” She even learned how to play the piano.
Hudson has always been inspired by Franklin. She started her career with “American Idol” in 2003 and, of course, auditioned for Aretha Franklin’s song “Share Your Love with Me”.
Sanne said, “What would she say if she told the athlete who finished seventh in’American Idol’in the third season how much Aretha Franklin’s song would take her?” I asked.
“It blows my heart away!” Hudson said. “It’s like,” Wow, what’s this? “When I see those auditions now. Jennifer, keep singing that song! “
Like Franklin, Hudson started by singing in church. And like Franklin, she suffers from family tragedy. Franklin’s mother died at an early age, and her father was later killed by a thief. In 2008, Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew were killed by her sister’s estranged husband.Hudson said she used her own grief to help tell Franklin’s story
“Is this my life? Is this her life? But I know it’s my true feelings telling this story. Telling this, being so honest and vulnerable I wouldn’t have been able to convey this in a way. Depth without my own life experience. “
Over the years, the relationship between Hudson and Franklin has matured into a true friendship. At the age of 76, before Franklin died in 2018, they spoke weekly. “It’s always what she said, like,’Make sure you own your voice and who you are.'” “
And at Franklin’s funeral, Hudson sang “Amazing Grace.”
Hudson said, “I can only keep doing everything from the bottom of my heart. Another thing that helped me and supported me through it is, for example, doing it from love. Doing it from respect. Thanks. And I dedicate her entire career to her, do you know? So let it continue to compliment. “
A story produced by Robbyn McFadden. Editor: Remington Corpor.
Jennifer Hudson Brings “Respect”-
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