Jennifer Hudson shows Aretha Franklin R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
February 13th, 2011
08:44 PM ET

Jennifer Hudson shows Aretha Franklin R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Right off the top, the 53rd annual Grammy awards ushered in a tribute to Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, playing a montage of her own Grammy performances and wins over the years.

Then Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, Christina Aguilera, Yolanda Adams and Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine took the stage, beginning with "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."

Then each singer took on a rendition of Franklin's hits, rounding it out with "Sisters Are Doin' it for Themselves."

The performance received a standing ovation from the audience.

Aretha Franklin did make an appearance, saying in a video, "I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be with you this evening," and thanking Ken Ehrlich, Clive Davis and "especially" "all of you who took the time to send me get well cards and flowers, beautiful flowers, and most importantly, your prayers."

She added, "I wish i could have been with you all tonight, but since I couldn't, next year."

The five singers then went on to present the Grammy for best pop duo or group, which went to Train for "Hey Soul Sister."

What'd you think of the tribute?

Filed under: Awards Season • Grammys

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. 2011 Model


    February 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Vic

    Hudson should play Aretha if they ever make a big budget biopic.

    February 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tom

    LOVE Jennifer Hudson...I think that performance should put an end to any doubt who should play Arethea in her life story...I read she had wanted Halle Berry...PAAAHLEASE....she not only can't sing but Aretha NEVER looked a bit like Halle. Jennifer could totally own that role.

    February 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. WLM

    I think the ladies did well. Jennifer Hudson not only looked amazing 80 lbs smaller but sounded amazing, So did Xtina and Yolanda.... I think is was nice...

    February 14, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. marianne

    Jennifer was the best! She sounded and looked strong and beautiful. The opening act of the Grammy's was the best of the night and exactly how the show should have opened! Well done ladies!

    February 14, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. drpolisci

    Hey, Jennifer was the best to me. However, I enjoyed all of the women. I ahd never heard of Florence but the woman can sing soul. It was a wonderful tribute to Aretha, my favorite singer of all times. I agree with Aretha and Patti LaBelle who recently came out and said lay off Christina.

    February 14, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. grayneale

    It was fabulous! The rest of the show just couldn't live up to this display of talent!

    February 14, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. Kandinsky

    This was not as good as it should have been. Hudson was good. Florence was interesting. McBride was a bit lackluster. Aguilera was imo awful. Sure she can belt it out. But she seems completely incapable of connecting with the emotion in the song. She really ruined it for me.

    February 14, 2011 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. mamba211

    Loved the range of talent especially Maritna McBride. But Aretha had gastric bypass surgery it is easy to tell since she lost a lot of weight. Just admit it.

    February 14, 2011 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheeks

      OMG! I didn't even think of that! You may be right. I just thought she's been sick and had surgery so she lost weight (as most people do); however this makes sense too. Will be interesting to find out what the real deal is. She definitely is getting better though. She went to a pistons game and looked very nice...for her.

      February 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • lw

      Artetha has cancer. You lose weight. It is very serious and I wish her the best.

      February 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. james e broxton

    how is it possible to say that aretha is not great WOW . thanks to OTIS REDDING

    February 14, 2011 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Laurie

    Sorry, But I can't stand Ms. Franklin. She expects everyone to bow to her and kiss her hand. And she isn't that great of a singer. I don't like someone who thinks they are the best of everything., Shows how low she really is.
    The only people who deserve hand kisses are The Queen and The Pope...

    I am sure all the people who sang tributes to her were really great. But she isn't.

    February 14, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Lucy

    That was one of my favorite parts of the show; I thought all the women sounded wonderful and it was a lovely tribute to an amazing talent.

    February 14, 2011 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. anevay

    No RESPECT for Aretha, she is only famous because she STOLE Otis REddings hit song. Swept under the rug it seems but true fans can always spot the rat. Hope you feel better and everything Aretha but how about paying a tribute and thank you to the man who made you famous, not Clive but OTIS!

    February 14, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheeks

      Oh please! You are talking of something that may have happened decades ago! You are also referencing one song. So say she did steal the song, and it launched her career, she still sang it right? She still continued to make hits after it right? I mean come on! There are certain things that are accepted because of the time in which it took place. Back in those days everyone stole music! I mean if you were to disregard Aretha for that, then you would have to disregard Elvis and a ton of other superstars from that day. Get over your gripe...holding on to nonsense from four decades ago makes you seem foolish!

      February 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • anevay

      Covering a song is one thing, she seduced Otis and stole the song. It was not a cover. Other greats have done covers and been succesful at them but she plain and simple stole a song and plagiarized it as her own. Not holding a grudge for decades, just re-revealing the truth. For you to think she is so great and hang on to a lie seems more childlike and foolish to me, I bet you still believe in the tooth fairy and santa too.

      February 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. df1chicago

    notes to christina – 1. i've already read several reviews about your performance in the tribute and i agree with them – trying to put the focus on you and not on aretha's song is just really poor form. and 2) USE FEWER DAMN NOTES!!!!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. T-Rex

    @Rachel guessing you are black huh?

    February 14, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  16. Rachel

    The tribute to Aretha was outstanding, except for that Christine Aguilera broad. She may have tried to redeem herself after the Super Bowl flop, but I think she is losing her touch AND her credibility.

    February 14, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  17. Mike H.

    Their perfomance would have been better if each of them had dropped from the ceiling in large eggs or there had been a street-gang fight played out in front of them while they were performing.

    February 14, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  18. Mark Holiday

    It was a fabulous start to a show that progressively went downhill as the night went on. Yolanda Adams is the truth, she sang that song. It was also great to see the fabulous Christina Aguleria redeem herself after last weeks fiasco. Jennifer Hudson was fab as usual. The other girls held their own. Overall a very good performance!

    February 14, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  19. jonathan b

    jennifer hud was the best she did an amazing job her voice is very natural. the other country girls held their own but was not in the league of jennifer and yolanda. xtina did her usual yelling and shouting the big notes. her tone and texture is really bad i dont like how her voice sounds it seems forced not natural at all. yolanda was great, jen was the best!

    February 14, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  20. Tracy

    thank god they didnt try to put non-singing , non-talented beyonce in the mix. but it was pretty obvious she didnt belong in an aretha tribute. it would have been sad trying to watch her do that fake singing thing

    February 14, 2011 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian in TX

      Here Here! You are spot on right! These ladies took it to chuch (so to speak), the rest of the so called "talent" on display tonight leaves something to be desired.

      February 14, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • anevay

      True. Beyonce can't sing. Just goes to show that it doesn't take ANY talent whatsoever to make it in the industry these days. Glad B wasn't up there, she would have been out of her league.

      February 14, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  21. Brian in TX

    This was quite excellent and exactly what TALENT is about. Not arriving in an egg or jumping bikes around the stage. Bravo to the ladies for this wonderful display of talent.

    February 14, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  22. pn

    Great job Christina Aguilera at the Grammy! Love her voice. The ladies sang a great tribute to Aretha. Loved it.

    February 13, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Beautiful Vixen

    Very nice : ]

    February 13, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Mad in CT

    Now, that's how you start a Grammy show and that's how music should sound!

    February 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mim

      Ms. Franklin is a National Treasure!

      I cried my beady-blue eyes out, when these young folk gave their most heartfelt tribute to Aretha. 'Way-to-go ladies!!

      February 14, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  25. Sean

    All the ladies who paid tribute were incredible, but I have to admit Christina was my favorite. I feel like this was her chance to redeem herself after the "Star Spangled Massacre " and she delivered, no doubt.

    February 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  26. JD


    February 13, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Grammy fan

    CHRISTINA IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |

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