Jennifer Hudson has released a new original song, “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home),” that will appear on the upcoming soundtrack for the Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect.
Hudson, who will star as Franklin in the film, notably co-wrote the track with Carole King, who famously co-wrote Franklin’s 1967 hit, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman).” The pair also worked with Jamie Hartman (Lewis Capaldi, Christina Aguilera) on the soaring song, while the Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am produced the track “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” will be the only original on the Respect soundtrack.
“Music is such a living and breathing character in this film, as it was in Ms. Franklin’s life,” Hudson said in a statement. “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… 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.”
King added, “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. 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!”
Respect is set to arrive in theaters August 13th, and the soundtrack will be released the same day. Along with Hudson, the cast includes Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess and Mary J. Blige.