Hudson and fellow "The Color Purple" cast members honoured Prince after a performance of the Broadway play on Thursday.
The Grammy winner addressed the audience with news of Prince's death, calling him "a dear friend of mine," and asked them to join her in singing "Purple Rain" together.
"Don't be shy. And that means you too, as Prince would say," she urged the crowd.
Then she and cast members belted an emotionally charged performance of one of Prince's most beloved songs. The combination of Hudson's incredible range and gospel styled inflections gives fair cause for weeping openly, it's that much of a spiritual performance.
Those blessed to be physically in the room took to Twitter to praise the Broadway cast's rendition.
— Haley Besser (@haleybesser) April 22, 2016
CYNTHIA ERIVO & JENNIFER HUDSON & THE CAST OF THE COLOR PURPLE JUST DID PURPLE RAIN AS AN ENCORE & LITERALLY REINCARNATED PRINCE FOR 5 MIN
— Rakesh Satyal (@rakeshsatyal) April 22, 2016
They even made actress Laverne Cox cry.
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) April 22, 2016
This isn't the first time Hudson's covered Prince. She had performed a duet of "Nothing Compares 2 U" with the man himself in 2012, during Prince's Chicago residency.
Awh I got to sing with Prince tonight in my hometown, n walk up the purple hallway while prince was on stage singing purple rain!!! Dreaming
— Jennifer Hudson (@IAMJHUD) September 26, 2012