Jennifer Hudson Shares Aretha Franklin Biopic Original Song Co-Written By Carole King
I smell an Oscar nominee! Jennifer Hudson, who is portraying Aretha Franklin in the upcoming biopic Respect, has recorded a new original song for the film called “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home).” It’ll be the movie’s only new song. It’s co-written by Carole King, which is of course significant because King was one of the songwriting geniuses behind one of Franklin’s most enduring hits, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” King wrote this new song with Jamie Hartman; it was produced by will.i.am.
“Writing a song with Jamie Hartman and Jennifer Hudson felt both familiar and fresh at the same time. 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,” King said in a press statement, continuing on:
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.”
And here’s Hudson on their collaboration:
Music is such a living and breathing character in this film, as it was in Ms. Franklin’s life. 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.
Listen to “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” below.
“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” will be featured on Respect‘s official soundtrack, which will be released on 8/13 alongside the film.