Thursday night in Los Angeles saw the convergence of some of the biggest voices in music at the Staples Center, as Grammy rehearsals kicked off for the Aretha Franklin tribute. The genre-spanning group included Jennifer Hudson, Christina Aguilera, Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, country star Martina McBride and gospel great Yolanda Adams.
The fivesome powered through a medley of Franklin's hits that will open the 53rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night.
The Staples Center rafters rattled as the group belted out "Natural Woman," before each diva took on their own Franklin tune. Aguilera went first with "Ain't No Way," McBride was up next with "Until You Come Back to Me," Welch followed with "Think," Jennifer Hudson tackled the iconic "Respect" and Adams rounded things out with "Spirit in the Dark." The ladies all closed with the empowering "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves."
"Dreamgirl" Hudson and Brit songstress Welch were clearly having a good time onstage, bumping hips and improvising their own two-steps.
Minutes after the rehearsal, Hudson spoke to MTV News about the tribute.
"Rehearsals are going, and went, very well," Hudson said. "It's a lot of fun, and just being amongst the other ladies and being around some of my favorite artists, and then tributing Aretha Franklin, it's just like surreal. And it's a moment you just have to take in and enjoy it, and I'm like on cloud nine just in that moment."
As far as the monumental task of deciding which song to select from the Queen of Soul, the decision, it turns out, wasn't Hudson's problem.
"They were chosen for us," she admitted. "I know that had to be the hardest job because Aretha has like catalogues of music. And I remember when they asked me to submit a list and I'm like, 'Oh my God! Where do I start?' "
You'll have to tune in Sunday night to see how the divas pull it off. And don't forget to catch our special Grammy correspondent Snooki, who will join Sway on the red carpet for our two-hour live stream on MTV.com, starting at 6 p.m. ET.
Don't miss "Snooki & Sway: Live From the Grammys," a red-carpet live stream kicking off Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on MTV.com. And stick with us all Grammy night for coverage of the red carpet, the show, the afterparties and beyond!