Jennifer Hudson Honors Aretha Franklin on the Red Carpet & Shares Rare Throwbacks from Meeting the Icon

Jennifer Hudson really knows how to transform into different characters, including everything from South African activist and politician Winnie Mandela to Grizabella in Cats.

Now, Hudson is gearing up for the premiere of Respect, a biopic that follows the life and career of musical icon Aretha Franklin (The movie is set for a wide release on August 13, but we've already given it a five-star review.) While everyone's excited to see Hudson transform on the big screen, it seems the 39-year-old actress channeled her character when she showed up to the Los Angeles premiere of the film.

The Dreamgirls star walked the red carpet in a gorgeous custom dress from Dolce & Gabbana. The strapless purple gown was covered in sequins and featured a side slit and a sweetheart neckline. Hudson also donned a long purple scarf that was tied to her bun and hung over her shoulder.

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Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

The look was constructed by celebrity stylists Wayman + Micah. The duo paired Hudson's glittery Dolce & Gabbana gown with a pair of tan pumps from Louboutin and jewelry courtesy of Bulgari. Meanwhile, hairstylist Kiyah Wright formed her stylish bun, while Adam Burrell did her makeup.

As Clive Davis revealed in 2018, Hudson was hand-picked by Franklin to fill the role. Although Franklin passed away in 2018, it seems Hudson was honoring the legend by wearing an outfit similar to one she rocked back in the '80s.

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David Redfern/Getty Images

During her many successful years as a performer, Franklin wore a variety of purple ensembles. But Hudson's team was seemingly inspired by the sequined purple dress she wore during a performance at London's New Victoria Theatre in 1980. The sparkly dress and heart-shaped bust are quite similar to the details of Hudson's Dolce & Gabbana 'fit.

Prior to the premiere, Hudson showed her excitement on Instagram and shared some rare throwback photos from the first time she met Franklin. She said, “In honor of Premiere Day! This is the first time I met @arethafranklin in 2004. I got to open her show that night ! I’ll never forget it. Thank u @jeremylawsonphotography for capturing this life changing moment. #arethafranklin #respectmovie.”

This will surely be a movie experience you won't want to miss.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the former Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a...