Watch Jennifer Hudson, Chris Stapleton honor Aretha Franklin at CMAs

Hudson and Stapleton performed a pair of Aretha Franklin songs at Wednesday's CMA Awards show.

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Jennifer Hudson brought the house down at the CMAs on Wednesday, performing a pair of Aretha Franklin songs with country singer Chris Stapleton and bringing the audience to its feet. 

Watch the performance below:

Hudson, who played the Queen of Soul in this year's "Respect," tore through Franklin's songs "Night Life" and "You Are My Sunshine." Stapleton, a multiple winner at the show, played guitar on both songs and joined in on vocals during "Sunshine."

But it was Hudson's performance, and her big, soulful vocals took the show to church and did Franklin proud. 

"Night Life," a Willie Nelson original, and "Sunshine," originally by Jimmie Davis, both appear on Franklin's 1967 album "Aretha Arrives."

The Hudson-Stapleton duet joined performances by Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, the Brothers Osborne, the team of Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood and many others on the show. 

Chris Stapleton and Jennifer Hudson perform on the 2021 CMA Awards.

Stapleton picked up awards for Album of the Year, Song of the Year (both for "Starting Over") and Male Vocalist of the Year, while Luke Combs took home the coveted Entertainer of the Year award. Carly Pearce was named Female Vocalist of the Year.

"Respect" was released in theaters in August and grossed $24.2 million at the North American box office. The film was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on Tuesday.

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama