Jennifer Hudson had been attached to the Aretha Franklin biopic since 2015


Jennifer Hudson is paying tribute to the icon she will soon portray on the big screen.

Following the news of Aretha Franklin‘s death, the singer, 36, expressed her condolences on Instagram Thursday.

“I have no words, so I will let the Queen say it!” Hudson captioned a video of Franklin’s 1970 hit “Let It Be” playing in the car.

“I will say while teaching me about your life, [you] taught me so much about life and schooled me in mine. I will never forget those teachings #riparethafranklin,” she concluded.

Jennifer Hudson and Aretha Franklin in December 2015
| Credit: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

In January, it was announced that Hudson had signed on to portray Franklin in the biopic based on her memoir Aretha: From These Roots.

Before Hudson was attached to the project in 2015, Franklin told Wendy Williams back in 2011 that she wanted Halle Berry to play her in the movie.

In 2016, Franklin told PEOPLE she gave her hard-won stamp of approval to a young actress for the still untitled project. “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.”

On Thursday, Franklin’s publicist confirmed to PEOPLE that the legend died of advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type.

“In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds,” the family said in a statement.

“We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”