Singer Jennifer Hudson wears Reem Acra for powerful B.E.T Awards performance

The Oscar winner wore a gown from Reem Acra’s Fall 2020 collection for her B.E.T performance. Getty
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Updated 30 June 2020

Singer Jennifer Hudson wears Reem Acra for powerful B.E.T Awards performance

DUBAI: The 2020 B.E.T. Awards may have been virtual, but its style moments were very real. The celebrities who participated in the annual ceremony brought their fashion A-game to remind the world just how exciting and glamorous red carpet style can be. You don’t have to look further than US singer Jennifer Hudson, who channeled the late Aretha Franklin for a show-stopping performance of “Young, Gifted and Black.”

The star, who first sat behind a white piano before moving to a standing microphone, looked glamorous in an emerald green gown from Lebanese fashion designer Reem Acra. With its contrasting velvet and mesh texture and a colorful gem-encrusted high neckline, the kaftan-style dress won’t soon be forgotten. Paired with matching green eyeliner and diamond studs and with her caramel-colored dreadlocks piled into an elegant updo, the final look was nothing short of extravagent. 



We are Royalty! Oh what a lovely precious thing it is to be young gifted and black ! @betawards

A post shared by Jennifer Hudson (@iamjhud) on

The performance also served as a sneak peek of what we can expect from Hudson’s portrayal of the Queen of Soul in the upcoming Liesl Tommy-directed “Respect” biopic, in which she will play the late Franklin.

Following Hudson’s set at the B.E.T Awards,  the official trailer for the biopic, which is set to premiere in December, was unveiled. The clip features quick flashes from the musical artist’s  life and career, including scenes from Franklin’s  meteoric rise to fame, her signing with a music manager and the legendary singer belting out the song “Respect”  in a gold gown.

Before Franklin died in August 2018 at the age of 76, she handpicked the “Dreamgirls” star to portray her in the film. 

US singer Jennifer Hudson also championed the Lebanese designer at the world premiere of ‘Cats.’ Getty

Meanwhile, it’s not the first time that the Oscar winner has chosen a design from Reem Acra for a special occasion. Fans might remember the form-fitting black gown with crystal-embellished mesh overlay from the Lebanese designer’s Fall 2019 collection, which she wore to the world premiere for “Cats” in New York’s Lincoln Center back in December.

The 38-year-old singer’s  love for Reem Acra designs go way back to 2012, when she performed at the Concert for the Rainforest Fund in New York City wearing a strapless rose gold gown with an embroidered bodice eight-years-ago.

In Lebanon, single-concert festival serenades empty ruins

Updated 05 July 2020

In Lebanon, single-concert festival serenades empty ruins

  • The Baalbek International Festival was streamed live on television and social media
  • The night kicked off with the Lebanese philharmonic orchestra and choir performing the national anthem

BEIRUT: A philharmonic orchestra performed to spectator-free Roman ruins in east Lebanon Sunday, after a top summer festival downsized to a single concert in a year of economic meltdown and pandemic.
The Baalbek International Festival was instead streamed live on television and social media, in what its director called a message of “hope and resilience” amid ever-worsening daily woes.
The night kicked off with the Lebanese philharmonic orchestra and choir performing the national anthem, followed by Carmina Burana’s “O Fortuna,” a 13th century poem set to music.

The program, which ran for just over an hour, included a mix of classical music and rock and folk tunes by composers ranging from Beethoven to Lebanon’s Rahbani brothers.
Held in the open air and conducted by Harout Fazlian, the 150 musicians and chorists were scattered inside the illuminated Temple of Bacchus, as drones filmed them among the enormous ruins and Greco-Roman temples of Baalbek.
Festival director Nayla de Freige told AFP most artists performed for free at the designated UNESCO World Heritage site.
The concert aimed to represent “a way of saying that Lebanon does not want to die. We have an extremely productive and creative art and culture sector,” she said.
“We want to send a message of civilization, hope and resilience.”
Baalbek itself became a militia stronghold during Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, but conservation and tourism have revived the ruins over the past three decades.
Lebanon is known for its summer music festivals, which have in past years drawn large crowds every night and attracted performers like Shakira, Sting and Andrea Bocelli.
Other festivals have not yet announced their plans for this year.
Lebanon has recorded just 1,873 cases of COVID-19, including 36 deaths.
But measures to stem the spread of the virus have exacerbated the country’s worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
Since economic woes in the autumn sparked mass protests against a political class deemed irretrievably corrupt, tens of thousands have lost their jobs or part of their income, and prices have skyrocketed.
Banks have prevented depositors from withdrawing their dollar savings, while the local currency has lost more than 80 percent of its value to the greenback on the black market.