Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) has announced a collaboration with four-time Grammy Award winner Carole King on an original song for the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect. The original song, “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home),” will be released on Friday and the complete soundtrack will drop on August 13, 2021.
“Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)” is the film’s only original song.
The song marks the first time Hudson and King have worked together as co-writers. Grammy Award winner will.i.am, co-founder of Black Eyed Peas, was the track’s producer.
“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,” stated Hudson while announcing the song on social media. “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.”
“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,” said King. “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.'”
MGM has set an August 13, 2021 theatrical release date for Respect.
Respect follows the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom, Respect is the remarkable true story of Franklin’s journey to find her voice.