This is the collaboration we never knew we needed.
On Wednesday (November 10), Jennifer Hudson and Chris Stapleton teamed up at the 2021 CMA Awards to pay tribute to Aretha Franklin. The duo sang an epic medley of Franklin's hits, including a show-stopping rendition of 'You Are My Sunshine.'
Earlier this year, Hudson starred as Franklin in the biopic Respect. The film followed Franklin's career "from a child singing in her father's church choir to her international superstardom," as well as depicted her more personal journey of "finding her voice." Starring as Franklin, of course, means Hudson is quite familiar with the singer's catalog.
Though Franklin was known as the Queen of Soul, she had roots in the country music scene, as well. Over her storied career, she covered Willie Nelson's 'Night Life' and teamed up with Faith Hill on Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love. Upon her 2018 passing, Nelson said of his friend's musical abilities: "She could turn any song into a hymn."
As the camera cut to the audience at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Hudson and Stapleton had country music's biggest stars on their feet throughout the performance. From Breland and HARDY to Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, everybody was dancing along to the music with big smiles on their faces.
Not only did Hudson and Stapleton make an impression on their peers, but fans at home also took to social media to praise the memorable performance. "Best performance of the entire night!" one fan praised. "So Jennifer Hudson and Chris Stapleton just took me to church," another chimed in.