A tribute fit for an icon! Jennifer Hudson brought the house down with a performance of "Amazing Grace" at the Pulitzer Prize luncheon held at Columbia University on Tuesday, where Aretha Franklin received a posthumous Special Citation honor.
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Special surprise guest, Academy Award-winning actress and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Jennifer Hudson @iamjhud performing "Amazing Grace" at the Pulitzer luncheon @Columbia University today, in honor of 2019 #Pulitzer Special Citation awardee, the #QueenOfSoul @ArethaFranklin. @DonLemon @clivedavis . #PulitzerPrizes. #music. #ArethaFranklin Video by @spinitsocial
Jennifer Hudson nearly missed the event after being stranded in Chicago due to a canceled flight. She ended up driving to New York to make the event, and credits Aretha Franklin’s spirit for getting her there!
Hudson told the Associated Press, “I looked up and I thought, ‘You know what, it’s like Aretha’s spirit is in me. She didn’t believe in flying, she would drive.' I got here in time, five minutes early to sing, because I wasn’t going to miss it. Honey, I said, ‘If I got to walk, if I got to crawl, I’m going to get there,’ and here I am — so it’s in my heart.”
Grammy and Academy Award-winning Hudson is slated to play the Queen of Soul in an upcoming biopic, "Respect," which is set to be released in August 2020. Hudson said in a statement regarding the part, “It is an absolute honor to be a part of bringing Ms. Franklin’s story to audiences who adore her around the world. She is one of the most iconic and talented artists of all time and what a dream come true it is to portray her extraordinary life on screen.”
Hudson also sang a soulful rendition of “Amazing Grace” at Aretha Franklin’s Detroit funeral. Franklin died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76 on August 16.