04/22/2016 02:32 EDT

Jennifer Hudson Honours Prince With Broadway Tribute

Don't be shy.

Mike Coppola via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 11: Recording artist Jennifer Hudson performs during the Pinoy Relief Benefit concert at Madison Square Garden on March 11, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

If you needed an excuse to cry today, there's no better excuse than Jennifer Hudson's powerful tribute to Prince.

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.

They even made actress Laverne Cox cry.

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.

The Grammy winner joins a long list of singers who have covered Prince, including Sinead O'Connor, TLC, and Mariah Carey.

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