Jennifer Hudson announces original song from Aretha Franklin biopic

“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” was written with Carole King

Jennifer Hudson announces a new original song entitled “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” — co-written with Carole King and Jamie Hartman — out Friday, June 18th via Epic Records. Black Eyed Peas co-founder and mega-producer will.i.am produced the track which is the first collaboration between Hudson and King. Hudson announced the collaboration on her social platforms Wednesday (June 16th) morning.

Paving the way for Hudson’s blockbuster big-screen turn as Aretha Franklin, it will appear on the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Respect and serve as the film’s only original song. Hudson was handpicked by Franklin to portray her in the film from MGM, which opens in theaters nationwide on August 13th. The soundtrack will be available on the same day.

“Music is such a living and breathing character in this film, as it was in Ms. Franklin’s life,” Hudson shares. “The process of creating this song was like constructing the greatest tribute I could possibly offer to her spirit. It was the final exhale of this extraordinary project and one that I let out with complete fulfillment. Being able to do so with Carole and Jamie was an incredible privilege. Carole is one of the greatest songwriters of all time and, whether we were trading stories, playing piano together over video conference, or working through lyrics, it was always a masterclass – both in life and music. Jamie and I have collaborated together in the past and it’s always so wonderful to create with him – he is continuously thinking outside of the box in a way that deepens the musical experience in indescribable ways. Our goal was to show that music was always the anchor for Ms. Franklin, in all that she did, and I hope this song illustrates the strength of her voice – both literally and figuratively – which always brought her home.”

“Writing a song with Jamie Hartman and Jennifer Hudson felt both familiar and fresh at the same time,” King adds of the collaboration. “The process of songwriting continues to amaze me. One minute there’s nothing, and then a song grows out of the seed of an idea. The seed was dormant when Jennifer, Jamie, and I first met virtually. Jennifer and I had previously performed together, and I was excited about writing with her for no less than a film called Respect in which Jennifer plays Aretha Franklin! I’m so pleased to have not just one but two songs as part of the soundtrack of Respect — the 21st Century song ‘Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)’ and my 20th Century co-write with Gerry Goffin, ‘(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman’.”

“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” highlights Hudson’s earthquaking range with a seismic crescendo. Right out of the gate, she proclaims, “It’s time for me to sing” over glorious church organ before twinkling piano wraps around her vocals. It officially impacts Hot AC and Urban AC on Monday, June 21st.

Hudson is also an executive producer of the film.

Jennifer Hudson is 2x GRAMMY Award, Academy Award and Golden Globe winner, best-selling author, and actress and more. Her self-titled 2008 debut album earned a platinum certification, the 2011 follow-up I Remember Me went gold, and 2014’s JHUD drew a GRAMMY nod.

She has starred in films ranging from Dreamgirls and Sex and the City to Chi-Raq and Sing, in addition to taking over Broadway in The Color Purple, for which the soundtrack garnered Hudson another Grammy win. Along the way, she became a best-selling author and served as a coach on The Voice in the UK and US In 2019, she appeared as Grizabella in the big-screen adaptation of Cats, and she also contributed “I’ll Fight” to the critically acclaimed documentary RBG, garnering an Academy Award nomination.

Additional new music is expected from Hudson soon.

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Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: info@themusicuniverse.com
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