Jennifer Hudson reportedly had an ulterior motive for her surprise performance at Hearst’s birthday celebration.
The 31-year-old singer attended the publishers’ event in New York City to reportedly lobby for a role as Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin in an upcoming movie.
Jennifer sang a medley of hits by Franklin and Whitney Houston and a source overheard her express her desire to play soul legend Aretha in a film.
“She introduced the [Franklin] song Oh Me Oh My and said it was her plan to portray Aretha someday,” a spy told New York Post. “Jennifer then asked the audience, ‘Is anyone listening?’ to imply someone in the crowd should give her that role.”
The newly slimmed down star made sure all eyes were on her as she belted out Happy Birthday for the publishing company, which was celebrating its 125th year anniversary.
The event marked a dual celebration as during the evening the premiere screening of the upcoming film Citizen Hearst was shown to the assembled crowd. Citizen Hearst explores the company’s 125 year history and will make its world premiere next month at the 2012 Hamptons International Film Festival.
Halle Berry has been linked to a film about Aretha in the past, with the soul star saying she would be the perfect choice. When Halle admitted she couldn’t sing, Aretha was quoted as saying Fantasia or Jennifer were both possibilities.