On August 13, Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson will grace theaters worldwide as Aretha Franklin in the Respect biopic. The filmâ€™s companion soundtrack will be released the same day via Epic Records. The first single, â€œHere I Am (Singing My Way Home),â€ 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.
â€œMusic is such a living and breathing character in this film, as it was in Ms. Franklinâ€™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,â€ shared Hudson in a statement.
When discussing what it was like writing alongside King and Hartman, Hudson said, â€œCarole 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 â€“ both in life and music.
Jamie and I have collaborated together in the past and itâ€™s always so wonderful to create with him â€“ 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 â€“ both literally and figuratively â€“ which always brought her home.â€
King mentioned working with Hudson and Hartman â€œfelt both familiar and fresh at the same time.â€ She added, â€œThe process of songwriting continues to amaze me. One minute thereâ€™s nothing, and then a song grows out of the seed of an idea.â€
King has written timeless music for the Queen of Soul in years past, including â€œ(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.â€
Earlier this year, Hudson collaborated with will.i.am. for a powerful remake of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrellâ€™s â€œAinâ€™t No Mountain High Enough.â€ It soundtracks Mastercardâ€™s Strivers Initiative.
Take a listen to â€œHere I Am (Singing My Way Home)â€ by Jennifer Hudson below.