Many remember Jennifer Hudson from American Idol. Although she didn’t win on Idol, she did win in regards to exposure. The reality show boosted her career into not only recognition for her music but also her work as an actress.
Jennifer Hudson was born in Chicago, Illinois. She is the youngest of three. Growing up, she attended Dunbar Vocational Career Academy and sang with her church choir while doing community theater. As a small girl her idols were music sensations Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle. Although Hudson was used to performing before audiences, including her stint with Disney Cruise Lines, she sometimes struggled while on American Idol. She barely made it through the semifinals and was brought back on the show through a wild card round to be in the Top 12. Switching up song choices, she finally began to show her true colors when singing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing”. Her Barry Manilow song “Weekend in New England” was considered her best performance on the show – but despite it all, she was eliminated. This was in 2004. By 2006 she was cast in the film Dreamgirls and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, NAACP Image Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. In 2008 she released her debut album “Jennifer Hudson” and won a Grammy Award on it as well, selling over 700,000 copies in the US and over 1 million copies worldwide.
The rising star was on top of the world until that same year when her mother, brother and nephew were killed in a shooting. Hudson stepped away from her career for a while, not making a public appearance until Super Bowl XLIII. She was also invited by President Obama to appear with him at a fundraiser in Beverly Hills in May 2009.
Acting in Dreamgirls was not Hudson’s only role. She has appeared in the movie Sex and the City in 2007 and The Secret Life Of Bees in 2008. In the film The Secret Life of Bees she starred next to Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah and Alicia Keys. The film won two of the People’s Choice Awards in 2009 and nine Black Reel Awards. Hudson was nominated for her performances by various film institutions.
Hudson followed this work by staring in the film Fragments, again with Dakota Fanning and also with Forest Whitaker. The movie was hauntingly enough was about a killer on a shooting spree and how the survivors cope.
Currently Hudson is working on the film Winnie where she will star as the wife of Nelson Mandela. This will give Hudson a lead role.
As for Hudson’s music, in 2008, Hudson’s single “Spotlight” became her first top 40, peaking at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Her second single, “If This Isn’t Love” followed it, which wasn’t released until 2009 and peaked at #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #37 on the UK Singles Chart. According to Hudson, “Spotlight” showcases what she calls “the sarcastic voice,” a story of insecurities within a relationship. In her third single “Pocketbook,” she calls it funky. Featuring rapper Ludacris, she says it is “very sassy, very much me. I spoke with each of the writers and they created a feel for me, for who I am. This song represents one side of my personality! This is something I would say – it has attitude yet it’s playful.”
The actress/musician is still new in her career. Where will Jennifer Hudson be in ten more years? At the rate she is going, it could just be anywhere.
Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.