"Still can't believe we lost you 2 years ago today," Jennifer Hudson said

By Nicholas Rice
August 16, 2020 04:30 PM
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Credit: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Jennifer Hudson is paying tribute to Aretha Franklin.

Hudson, 38, remembered the late R&B legend on Sunday, which is the two-year anniversary of Franklin's death. The Oscar winner shared a black-and-white image of the late songstress on Instagram.

"Something tells me that you are walking around heaven singing all day," Hudson began her post. "I know u got your mansion, far more than just standing room! Singing in the heavenly choir."

"Still Can’t believe we lost you 2 years ago today," Hudson concluded. "I truly miss hearing from you."

Franklin died of advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type in 2018 after struggling with her health for years. She was 76.

Hudson is set to honor the Queen of Soul early next year when she stars as the late music legend in the Franklin-based biopic, Respect, which is scheduled to hit theaters in January 2021.

Directed by Liesl Tommy, Respect tracks Franklin’s life as she goes from a child singing in her father’s church choir to an international superstar. Franklin previously hand-picked Hudson to portray her on-screen before her death.

Last year, Hudson opened up to Willie Geist for Sunday Today, and revealed that she’s very much aware of the significance of Franklin's story, which she intends to handle with reverence.

“Those are huge shoes to fill,” she said in the interview. "I am just taking it one step at a time, one day at a time. All I want to do is pay tribute to her and meet her requests, you know? Like, 'Aretha said do this?' — 'Yes, ma’am.'"

Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson
| Credit: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Hudson previously opened up to PEOPLE earlier this year about how filming the role was a dream come true for her.

"Back in April 2003, I got to open up for her in Merrillville, Indiana, where she held a concert. That was before Dreamgirls, before I ever dreamed of playing her one day," Hudson said. "I've gotten to pay tribute to her many times since then, but every time is like the first time."

RELATED VIDEO: Jennifer Hudson on Playing Aretha Franklin

Hudson also described how she picked up a new skill during her time portraying Franklin — learning how to play the piano.

"I started piano lessons," she said of just one of the ways she got into character. "Aretha got me back in music school. It's still a process, but the film has made me more passionate about learning an instrument and expressing myself musically."