Jennifer Hudson left viewers awestruck at the BET Honors Monday night.

The Dreamgirls star raised the energy at the Time Warner Theatre in Washington, DC during a special tribute led by Aretha Franklin which has hit airwaves in the US after weeks of anticipation.

And it seems it was worth the wait, with several fans taking to Twitter to gush over the programming.

“Jennifer Hudson just shut down the BET Honors Show,” one fan wrote.

“They might as well have Jennifer officially sign on to play Aretha in a biopic. #BETHONORS,” another added.

Another touched viewer was equally stunned by Aretha Franklin’s tribute to late South African leader Nelson Mandela: “I commend BET for a powerful, memorable tribute to Nelson Mandela by Ms Aretha. Well done. It will be remembered forever. #BETHONORS #Madiba,” the fan gushed.

Other performers included Mariah Carey, who debuted new song You’re Mine, Janelle Monae, Tamar Braxton, Smokey Robinson and Wayne Brady, who hosted the affair.

Motown founder Berry Gordy, American Express Chairman and CEO Ken Chenault, visual artist Carrie Mae Weems and rapper/actor Ice Cube were among those who accepted awards at the annual ceremony, which celebrates the achievements of African Americans, as Billboard earlier reported.

The 2014 BET Honors will air on BET’s international network February 28.

Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Women Veterans Interactive, supporting US veterans and their families.