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Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson

A contestant on the third season of American Idol, Jennifer Hudson has gone on to become an Academy Award-winning actress and performer.  Born in Chicago, Hudson graduated from the Dunbar Vocational Career Academy in 1999.  She has stated that one of her biggest musical inspirations was Whitney Huston.  Before her audition for American Idol, she was making ends meet by working as a performer on a cruise ship.

 

During her audition, the judges praised her for her vocal prowess.  However, although she was among the semifinalists, Hudson was not voted into the last round.  However, she was brought into the Top Twelve as a wildcard, courtesy of judge Randy Jackson.

 

Hudson was not initially popular with voters, due possibly to her song choices.  In two of the first three episodes, she placed next to last in terms of number of votes.  However, after her performance of "Circle of Life" and "I Have Nothing", the audience voted her into the top three.  Simon Cowell also praised her performances.   However, in the end, she only managed a seventh place finish, being the sixth contestant voted off the show.

 

In 2005, Hudson won the role of Effie White in the film adaptation of the hit musical Dreamgirls.  There were hundreds of other professional singers and actresses vying for the role, including Hudson's former American Idol competitor (and eventual season three winner) Fantasia.  Hudson won great acclaim for her performance, especially regarding the song "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", which had already become a huge hit thanks to the rendition performed by Broadway actress Jennifer Holliday.

 

Hudson has earned twenty-nine different awards for her portrayal of Effie White, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the young age of twenty-five.  She is the first reality show contestant to win an Academy Award in any category.  She has since signed a record deal with Arista and is working on material for her debut album.

 

Hudson has furthered her acting career since winning the Academy Award, most notably in a scene-stealing role in the film adaptation of the popular HBO series Sex and the City. Her life was marked by tragedy on October 24, 2008 when her mother, brother and nephew were killed by Hudsonís former brother-in-law. Hudson made her first public appearance since the deaths in February 2009, when she sang the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl.

 

Hudson has become a spokesperson for Weight Watchers, having lost 56 pounds in the last year through the program. She is currently working on her follow-up album to her debut, scheduled to be released in 2011.

 

Jennifer Hudson Official MySpace Page
Official Dreamgirls Website




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