Jennifer Hudson turned in a soul-stirring performance of Amazing Grace at Aretha Franklin’s funeral on Friday in Detroit.
Elegantly dressed in a black velvet blazer, matching skirt and fascinator hat, Hudson sang the Christian hymn with passion, bringing some funeral attendees to tears. At the end of her performance, she received a standing ovation.
The song was particularly moving because it was said to be one of Franklin’s favorites, and the title of her 1972 gospel album Amazing Grace.
Grammy-winning singer Hudson was one of several artists to perform at the funeral service, which lasted more than seven hours.
The list of performers included Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Ronald Isley, Chaka Khan, Shirley Caesar and The Clark Sisters.
Among the speakers were the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, music mogul Clive Davis, Cicely Tyson, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and former President Bill Clinton.
Clinton drew laughter and applause as he shared stories about how technology has changed the way we listen to music, as well as his family’s relationship with the Queen of Soul.
“We started out not as a president, a first lady, senator, secretary of state,” he said, referring his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as she sat nearby. “We started out as, like, Aretha Franklin groupies or something.”
After the service, Franklin was entombed at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.
The music legend died Aug. 16, at her home in Detroit after battling pancreatic cancer. She was 76.
She leaves behind a legacy few artists can match.
Over the years, she received 18 Grammy Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor and performed at the inaugurations of three presidents, including Clinton’s.