The 2017 Grammy Awards have wrapped, and while most of the biggest buzz is going to Bruno Mars for winning 4 trophies for his album 24k Magic, the most important news is coming from another superstar of the entertainment industry.
Clive Davis, legendary music producer and industry executive, held his massive pre-Grammy party last night. Barry Manilow and Alicia Keys performed alongside other stars for the crowd, always a popular destination for the hottest talent. Davis has himself crafted and steered the careers of many stars of the pop and R&B world, and it was Davis himself who announced that one of his proteges, Jennifer Hudson, had been chosen to play Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic being developed by MGM. Hudson then performed covers of Respect and Think, both major hits for Franklin.
Franklin, a Detroit native, is famous for helping shape the Motown music scene for over six decades, having just released her latest solo album, A Brand New Me: Aretha Franklin and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Her cover of Otis Redding’s Respect made her a hero of the civil rights and women’s rights movements. Franklin has been inducted into the Rock n Roll, Gospel, and NAACP Halls of Fame, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
Hudson came up through American Idol’s ranks and eventually worked her way into Hollywood. Hudson won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Effie Smith in the film adaptation of Dreamgirls, which is loosely based on the story of another legendary Motown group, The Supremes.
Word is that Franklin herself had hand-picked Hudson to play her in the upcoming project being produced by Straight Outta Compton’s Scott Bernstein with music being produced by Harvey Mason Jr. MGM has not yet chosen a director for the film, which is also still scriptless, but will move quickly to do so to get the project off the ground.