Jennifer Hudson Spoke To Aretha Franklin ‘Weekly’ Before Her Passing: She Taught Me ‘About Life’

Jennifer Hudson learned a lot from Aretha Franklin. The actress told Access Hollywood’s Zuri Hall that she had many conversations with the late music legend as she prepared to portray her in the upcoming biographical film “Respect.” “Before she passed, we would speak weekly. It was to lead to preparation for the film, but I found she ended up teaching me more about life in those conversations than her life. And now, after playing her, I’m like, ‘Aretha really knew what she was talking about,'” Jennifer shared. The actress also opened up about teaming up with Mastercard for their new campaign celebrating Black-owned small businesses in honor of Black History Month. Mastercard has made a $500 million commitment to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black communities across America, as well as its $250 million investment in Black-owned small business development.