Jennifer Hudson and Carole King collaborate on new song for Aretha Franklin biopic ‘Respect’
Academy Award-winning actress and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Jennifer Hudson revealed today a new original song entitled “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)”—co-written with 4-time Grammy Award winner, Kennedy Center Honoree, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee Carole King (marking their first collaboration) and Jamie Hartman [Lewis Capaldi, Christina Aguilera] out Friday.
Grammy Award-winning Black Eyed Peas co-founder and mega-producer will.i.am produced the track.
Said Hudson, “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.”
About the collaboration, King commented, “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! 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.”
Epic Records Chairwoman and CEO Sylvia Rhone added, “What Jennifer, Carole, and Jamie have created together is nothing short of historic. It celebrates the legacy of Aretha Franklin by channeling her spirit and style in an original, no less. As soon as I heard it, I was speechless. It has all the elements of a future American songbook staple.”
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 theatres nationwide on August 13. The Respect Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is due the same day.
Grammy Award-winning Black Eyed Peas co-founder and mega-producer will.i.am produced the track. You can get “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” beginning Friday via Epic Records.
Hear the song now (below):