aretha franklin*Lady Soul, Aretha Franklin, is letting it be known that she has picked what she calls a “strong contender” to play her in an upcoming biopic.

Yep, you read it here. The multiple GRAMMY® Award-winner is eyeing actress Audra McDonald (below), who was spotted my Franklin when she attended “Porgy and Bess” on Broadway. It was the Queen of Soul’s first time seeing McDonald in a play. She was very impressed with her performance and expressed an interest in her for the role.

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For those not familiar with McDonald, she is an award-winning television and stage actor who has won four Tony® awards and two Emmy awards. She starred in ABC’s “Private Practice” and in Broadway musicals such as “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Ragtime,” “Carousel” and “Master Class.” A classically trained singer, she has performed in concerts with the New York Philharmonic and many others.

Franklin is continuing discussions with Hollywood executives and hopes to wrap up negotiations on the film in the coming months. But here’s the bottom line to keep in mind: she is not currently in negotiations with McDonald for the starring role in her bio-pic. She’s just putting the word out that Ms. McDonald is being considered.

In other Aretha news, for those that may have missed it, last month, she celebrated her 70th birthday at a dinner party in New York and she recently received TV Land’s Music Icon Award.