The Voice coach, 36, belted the lyrics to the hymn with an ferocious passion that moved many in attendance to tears. Clad in a velvet blazer and a fascinator hat, Hudson looked equal parts elegant and stylish as she delivered a major highlight of the seven-hour service.
Her final sustained notes drew cheers from the audience, who rose to their feet in rapturous ovation for the star.
Franklin died on Aug. 16 at the age of 76 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Hudson, who is set to play Franklin in a biopic about the Queen of Soul, shared a post about the “Respect” singer on Instagram in the wake of her death.
“I have no words, so I will let the Queen say it!” she captioned a video of Franklin’s song “Let It Be.” “[You] taught me so much about life and schooled me in mine. I will ever forget those teachings.”
In January, it was announced that Hudson would play Franklin in the biopic Aretha: From These Roots. In 2016, Franklin told PEOPLE she approved of who was going to portray her.
“I’ve talked to the person that is going to play me,” she said. “I’m not going to say who I chose, but I’ve talked to her and she’s ready and I’m happy with her.”
Hudson has often cited Franklin as one of her inspirations and joined former president Bill Clinton, Smokey Robinson, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Cicely Tyson, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Clive Davis and more who were set to speak at the funeral.