Jennifer Hudson

Biography

Active: 2003-present

HISTORY

Jennifer Kate Hudson (born September 12, 1981) is an American actress, singer and model. She first gained notice as one of the finalists on the third season of the FOX television series American Idol. She went on to star as Effie White in the 2006 motion picture adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls for which she won numerous awards including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA and a SAG Award.

Hudson was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Darnell Hudson and Samuel Simpson, who was a bus driver. She was raised Baptist and attended Dunbar Vocational Career Academy and graduated in 1999. She cites Whitney Houston as her musical and movie influence, as well as Aretha Franklin.

After seeing Hudson\'s performance in Dreamgirls, American Idol judge Simon Cowell taped a congratulatory message to her, which aired on The Oprah Winfrey Show.With the March 2007 issue, Jennifer Hudson became the third African American celebrity, and the first African American singer, to grace the cover of Vogue magazine.

Hudson began dating James Payton in 1999 when she was 18. They were both from Chicago. When asked if they had any plans to marry, Hudson declared that \"We are happy with the place we are right now, but perhaps we will tie the knot someday. One thing\'s for sure, I definitely won\'t be popping the question!\" Sometime in December 2007 Hudson and Payton ended their relationship.

Hudson is now engaged to David Otunga, who is known as \"Punk\" from I Love New York 2. He proposed on Hudson\'s 27th birthday with a Neil Lane diamond ring. The couple has been dating for less than a year now.

Hudson auditioned for the third season of American Idol in Atlanta, Georgia. In her audition she commented that she had been singing on Disney Cruise Lines for the past few months (as one of the Muses from Hercules) and Randy said \"We\'re expecting more than a cruise ship performance from you.\" Jennifer delivered and all the judges agreed it was the best voice they had heard so far in the competition. She was a member of the first group of semifinalists in the Semifinals. She was not voted through to the final round, although she was brought back on the wild card round and put through as a Top 12 finalist by contest judge Randy Jackson.

Jennifer Hudson struggled to gain popularity in the early stages of the live shows, receiving the second-lowest number of votes in two of the first three shows. However, after a change in song choices, she soon became a favorite to win, receiving the highest number of votes in the Top 9 after her performance of Elton John\'s \"Circle of Life\" on April 6, 2004. Among Hudson\'s worthy performances on the show was her rendition of Whitney Houston\'s \"I Have Nothing\". American Idol judge Simon Cowell commented that she \"finally proved why she was among the Top 12\" and referred to the performance a week later as \"sensational\".On April 21, 2004, Hudson became the sixth of the 12 finalists to be voted off the show, finishing the competition in seventh place.

American Idol performances:

* \"Imagine\" (John Lennon, 1971) (Semifinals; February 10, 2004)
* \"I Believe in You and Me\" (The Four Tops, 1982; Whitney Houston, 1996) (Wild card; March 9, 2004)
* \"Baby, I Love You\" (Aretha Franklin, 1967) (Soul week; March 16, 2004) (Bottom 2)
* \"No One Else on Earth\" (Wynonna Judd)\" (Country; March 23, 2004)
* \"(Love is Like a) Heat Wave\" (Motown, Martha and the Vandellas; March 30, 2004) (Bottom 2)
* \"Circle of Life\" Elton John, 1994) (Elton John songs; April 6, 2004) (Highest Number Of Votes)
* \"I Have Nothing\" (The Bodyguard, Whitney Houston, 1992) (Movie songs week; April 14, 2004)
* \"Weekend in New England\" (Barry Manilow, 1976) (Manilow songs; April 20, 2004) (Bottom 3: eliminated)

ACTING CAREER

Dreamgirls

In November 2005, Hudson was cast in the prized role of Effie White, the role originally created in a legendary Broadway performance by Jennifer Holliday, for the film adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls, which also starred Jamie Foxx, Beyonc? Knowles, and Eddie Murphy. This role marked Hudson\'s debut screen performance. Hudson won the role over hundreds of professional singers and actresses, including American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino, and Raven-Symon?.She said in an interview on The View that Fantasia called her and said: \"Girl, you stole my part.\"[citation needed] Filming of Dreamgirls began on January 9, 2006, and the film went into limited release on December 25, 2006 and national release on January 12, 2007.

Hudson has won particular praise for her show-stopping onscreen rendition of the hit song, \"And I Am Telling You I\'m Not Going\", the signature song of the role, which had earlier been recorded, and had already reached the status of musical standard, because of the definitive performance of Jennifer Holliday. The New York Observer described Hudson\'s performance of the song as \"five mellifluous, molto vibrato minutes that have suddenly catapulted Ms. Hudson? into the position of front-runner for the best supporting actress Oscar.\" Newsweek said that when moviegoers hear Hudson sing the song, she \"is going to raise goose bumps across the land.\"Variety wrote that Hudson\'s performance \"calls to mind debuts like Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl or Bette Midler in The Rose, with a voice like the young Aretha.

As Effie White, Hudson has garnered twenty-nine awards from film critics as Best Supporting Actress and Breakthrough Performer of 2006. She won the Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Supporting Role. In addition, she has been named Best Supporting Actress by the Broadcast Film Critics Association and also by the Screen Actors Guild.
Jennifer Hudson with her Oscar.
Jennifer Hudson with her Oscar.

On February 25, 2007, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in this film. At 25 years old, Hudson became the eighth-youngest winner of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Upon winning this award, Hudson also became one of the very few performers ever to win an Oscar for a debut screen performance. As of 2007, she is also the only person to have gone from participating in a reality television series to becoming an Academy Award winner. During her acceptance speech Hudson said:

Oh my God, I have to just take this moment in. I cannot believe this. Look what God can do. I didn\'t think I was going to win. [?] If my grandmother was here to see me now. She was my biggest inspiration.\" She also concluded her speech by thanking Jennifer Holliday.

Hudson\'s version of \"And I Am Telling You I\'m Not Going\" debuted at number 98 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the January 13, 2007 issue. The Dreamgirls track has since become Hudson\'s first Top 10 hit, but not on the Hot 100, as the track registered a new peak at #7 on the Billboard Hot Adult R&B Airplay chart on February 24, 2007. The track has also reached #14 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and remixes of the song have seen Jennifer reach the #1 position on Billboard\'s Hot Dance Club Play Chart.

In addition, Hudson was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on June 18 along with 115 other individuals for 2007.

Subsequent acting projects

In September 2007, Hudson began work on Sex and the City, as Louise, Carrie Bradshaw\'s assistant. Filming finished in December 2007 and the movie premiered on May 30, 2008. In 2008, Hudson is scheduled to appear as Kathy Archenault in Winged Creatures, a film based on the novel by Roy Freirich, with Forest Whitaker, Guy Pearce, Kate Beckinsale, Dakota Fanning, Josh Hutcherson and Jackie Earle Haley. In January 2008, she began filming her fourth film The Secret Life of Bees as Rosaleen, the mother figure of Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning). Also starring in the film are fellow Oscar nominees Queen Latifah and Sophie Okonedo, as well as Alicia Keys.

RECORDING CAREER

Hudson recorded \"Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)\", originally by Gladys Knight & the Pips, for American Idol Season 3: Greatest Soul Classics?the official American Idol album for the third season.

She is featured in a duet, \"The Future Ain\'t What It Used to Be\" on Meat Loaf\'s Bat out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose. She also performed the song \"Easy to be Hard\" on the Actors\' Fund benefit recording of the musical Hair and she is featured on Ne-Yo\'s second album Because of You on the track \"Leaving Tonight\". Hudson has also recorded a new song with rapper Papoose, titled \"Special\".

In September 2006, Hudson performed the song \"Over It\" live on Fox Chicago Morning News. In the interview she stated the song would be included on her debut album, to be released in early 2007 however this was before she signed with Arista. On The Oprah Winfrey Show, Hudson announced plans to enter the studio in March 2007. Hudson said on The Tyra Banks Show on February 23, 2007 that she just finished the first song for the album. Hudson also recorded a song called \"Stand Up\" which was available for preview on her fan website which was Produced by Chicago natives Earl Powell and Arranged by close friend and Producer Herman Little III. The power-ballad is available on Jennifer\'s self-titled album (Deluxe Edition) as a Bonus track.

2006-PRESENT

In November 2006, Hudson signed a record deal with Arista Records and has currently released her debut album and has recently finished recording one song entitled \"Depreciate\".

In January 2008, it was announced that Hudson would be returning to the studio to record new material for her debut album. Her label was reportedly unhappy with the direction they were sending Hudson musically, and decided it would be best to scrap the older songs and instead focus on new ones. Hudson will be working with Ryan Tedder and Timbaland on a number of songs.

During an interview in May 2008, Hudson confirmed that her debut album, which will be self titled, would be released on September 30, 2008 under the Arista Records label. She also announced that later this month her debut single \"Spotlight\" would be released in order to promote her debut album. \"Spotlight\" will impact U.S. radio outlets on June 9 and be available for sale via digital outlets the following day.

\"Spotlight\" was written by Ne-Yo, who co-produced along with Stargate. Additional contributors on the album include Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Robin Thicke, the Underdogs, Diane Warren, Earl Powell and Christopher \"Tricky\" Stewart, among others. She has performed the song \"All Dressed in Love\" for the Sex and the City soundtrack, which was released on May 27, 2008. Hudson performed the national anthem at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

ALBUMS

2006 - Dreamgirls: Soundtrack
2008 - Jennifer Hudson

Edit biography

OptimusPrime

Submitted by OptimusPrime at Mon 20 Oct, 2008 9:44 am

OptimusPrime

Last updated by OptimusPrime at Mon 20 Oct, 2008 9:44 am

Follow Muzikum