Jennifer Hudson is to star as Aretha Franklin in a new biopic.

The 'Respect' singer is said to have chosen the 'Dreamgirls' star for the role herself.

Record executive Clive Davis made the announcement as he introduced Jennifer's performance at a pre-Grammys party, according to Deadline.

The 36-year-old Oscar-winning actress and former 'American Idol' star then sang 'Think' and 'Respect' for the star-studded audience.

A movie about Aretha's life and work has been in development at MGM since 2011.

The 75-year-old Queen Of Soul's music spans six decades, with her first record deal - a Gospel album - being released in 1956.

She has gone on to release a string of acclaimed hits, including '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman', 'Spanish Harlem' and 'I Say A Little Prayer'.

Last year Aretha revealed plans to retire and move to Detroit to open a nightclub.

The 'Respect' hitmaker said: In my retirement plan, I'd like to have a small club here in Detroit.

''It would be Aretha's!

''From time to time I would sing, and of course, I would have special artists come in to perform for the city that people in Detroit like - Detroit favourites.''

Aretha's final album, a collaboration with Stevie Wonder, due for release later this year, following a 57-year career.

Last year the Queen of Soul was forced to pull out of several live shows due to unknown health issues. In 2010, she cancelled a series of concerts to undergo emergency abdominal surgery.

Jennifer won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2007 for her role in 'Dreamgirls', playing Effie White, a character inspired by Supremes member Florence Ballard.