Watch Jennifer Hudson’s Powerful BET Awards Performance of “Young, Gifted and Black”

Watch Jennifer Hudson’s Powerful BET Awards Performance of “Young, Gifted and Black”

During Sunday night’s virtual BET Awards, Links”>Jennifer Hudson channeled the Queen of Soul for an incredible performance of “Young, Gifted and Black.” She began seated at a piano, her stunning voice as beautiful as ever as she hit one gorgeous note after another.

The song, originally recorded and released by Nina Simone in 1969, was a tribute to Simone’s friend, playwright Lorraine Hansberry. In an interview, Simone said of the song’s inspiration, “I remember getting a feeling in my body, and I said, ‘That’s it: to be young, gifted and Black. That’s all.’ And sat down at the piano and made up a tune. It just flowed out of me.” A few years later, Aretha Franklin’s rendition became the title track for her iconic 1972 album.

Hudson’s BET Awards performance gave viewers a glimpse of what’s to come when she channels Aretha Franklin in the upcoming biopic set to be released later this year. After you watch Sunday night’s performance, check out the official trailer for Respect.

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