On August 13, Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson will grace theaters worldwide as Aretha Franklin in the Respect biopic. The film’s companion soundtrack will be released the same day via Epic Records. The first single, “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home),” is a gospel-indebted original song performed by Hudson and co-written by the acclaimed Carole King and Jamie Hartman, with production by will.i.am.
“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,” shared Hudson in a statement.
When discussing what it was like writing alongside King and Hartman, Hudson said, “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.”
King mentioned working with Hudson and Hartman “felt both familiar and fresh at the same time.” She added, “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 has written timeless music for the Queen of Soul in years past, including “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
Earlier this year, Hudson collaborated with will.i.am. for a powerful remake of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” It soundtracks Mastercard’s Strivers Initiative.
Take a listen to “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” by Jennifer Hudson below.
Pre-order RESPECT (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) here.