Reba McEntire and Jennifer Hudson ('The Jennifer Hudson Show' via YouTube)

Vocal Powerhouses Reba McEntire + Jennifer Hudson Duet Aretha Franklin's 'Respect'


Reba McEntire and Jennifer Hudson joined forces for a live performance of Aretha Franklin's "Respect" on the March 29 episode of The Jennifer Hudson Show. Hudson played the Queen of Soul to much acclaim in the 2021 biopic Respect, while McEntire also shared a touching and hilarious personal connection to the late legend.

Sitting on Hudson's plush round sofa for the interview portion of the show, McEntire revealed that she met Aretha Franklin years ago and that she wasn't exactly cool as a cucumber during the encounter.

"I got to meet her," McEntire told Hudson, adding that she was paralyzed with fear in Franklin's presence. "She scared me to death. I wouldn't even talk to her."


For her part, Hudson wasn't exactly at ease when she met Franklin, either. "Yeah, she scared me, too," the American Idol alum admitted.

Hudson brought up McEntire's 1980s covers of Franklin's enduring classic, "Respect," and McEntire lit up. The country singer famously performed the tune at the 1988 CMA Awards, and she recorded a cover of the song on her album 'Reba,' released that same year. When asked how the cover came about, McEntire got straight to the point:

"I liked the song," the country icon answered simply, throwing the audience into fits of laughter. "Yeah. I love the song. I love Aretha."


Hudson asked McEntire whether they could sing "a little bit of the song," and the two women were handed microphones. McEntire began the special duet, singing the first verse as Hudson's piano player provided accompaniment. "What you want, baby, I got it / What you need, do you know I got it?/ All I want you to do for me is show me some respect when you get home / Hey, baby," McEntire crooned, bouncing in her seat to the rhythm.

Hudson jumped in for the second verse, and the women eventually got to their feet for an explosive chorus and extended refrains. Hudson and McEntire alternated between background and lead vocals, harmonizing and improvising for a truly memorable cover of an all-time-great tune.

READ MORE: Reba McEntire Gets Emotional Over Tribute to Her Late Mom in Her Oklahoma Restaurant

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