It’s always been a dream of Jennifer Hudson’s to play Aretha Franklin, and after years of waiting, it has finally come true. For the LA premiere of Respect on Aug. 8, Jennifer looked every bit the successor to Aretha’s Queen of Soul moniker in custom Dolce and Gabbana. “She’s always been one of my idols,” the 39-year-old told ConciergeQ. “And then for her to pick me to do this is beyond a blessing, a dream, an honor, I do not take it lightly. And I just wanted to give every bit of my all to pay tribute to her.” This isn’t the first time Jennifer has gushed about the legendary singer, as she’s frequently talked about the pressure to live up to Aretha’s expectations.
The entire red carpet was a celebration of the life, love, and legacy of Aretha, with Jennifer’s son David Otunga Jr. joining her for the premiere. “It’s a celebration of her life,” she shared with Access. “I’m loving seeing her family here, all her loved ones. And we’re here just on one accord: just in celebration of Ms. Franklin. As it should be.” As for whether or not she thinks the late singer would be proud of the film, Jennifer had this to say, “I can only hope and pray that she would be proud. I think she would . . . I think so long as she knows it was all from the heart. And all I wanted to do was meet her request and it just so happened to be my dream to do this.” Ahead of the film’s Aug. 13 release, check out pictures of Jennifer looking like the queen she is.