Jennifer Kate Hudson (J.Hud) is an American singer and actress who was born on September 12, 1981. Hudson has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Daytime Emmy Award, and two Grammy Awards for both her music and acting. In 2020, Time ranked her one of the world’s top 100 most powerful people
Hudson rose to prominence in 2004 after finishing seventh as a finalist on the third season of American Idol. She made her film debut as Effie White in the musical Dreamgirls (2006), for which she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first African-American woman to win an Academy Award in a competitive acting category.
Following these triumphs, Hudson signed with Arista Records and released her self-titled debut studio album in 2008, which went gold in the US, sold over a million copies worldwide, and won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. I Remember Me (2011) and JHUD (2014), her subsequent studio albums, were both commercial successes, with the former being certified gold in the United States.
Hudson’s previous acting credits include Sex and the City (2008), The Secret Life of Bees (2008), Winnie Mandela (2011), Black Nativity (2013), Sing (2016), Cats (2019), Respect (2021), Smash (2012), Empire (2015), Confirmation (2016), and her Broadway debut with The Color Purple. Hudson was born in Chicago, Illinois, on September 12th, 1981.
Darnell Donerson and Samuel Simpson have three children, the third of whom is her. She grew up in Englewood as a Baptist and graduated from Dunbar Vocational High School in 1999.Her overall top influences and inspirations are Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and Patti LaBelle.
Mariah Carey is another of her musical “heroes,” according to her.With the support of her late maternal grandmother, Julia, she began acting at the age of seven, singing in the church choir and doing community theatre. She enrolled at Langston University, but left after a semester owing to homesickness and dissatisfaction with the weather, and subsequently enrolled at Kennedy–King College.
Hudson signed her first recording contract with Chicago-based small label Righteous Records in January 2002.In 2004, she was freed from her five-year contract with Righteous Records in order to compete on American Idol.Hudson went to Atlanta to audition for American Idol’s third season.
“We’re expecting more than a cruise ship performance from you,” judge Randy Jackson said when she mentioned that she has been singing on Disney Cruise Lines (aboard the Disney Wonder) as one of the Muses from Hercules for the past few months. Hudson garnered the most votes in the “Top 9” after playing Elton John’s “Circle of Life” on April 6, 2004, but she was removed two weeks later after performing Barry Manilow’s “Weekend in New England” during the “Top 7” episode.
Jennifer Hudson joined the D.C. Choir for a performance at the March for Our Lives anti-gun violence event on March 24, 2018 in Washington, D.C. After a one-season break, Hudson returned to The Voice as a coach for the sixteenth season in the United States. Kennedy Holmes, her final act, was ranked fourth overall.
Hudson was revealed as returning for The Voice UK’s eighth series on September 21, 2018, by the Daily Express. Hudson confirmed in September 2019 that she will not be returning for the ninth season due to job commitments in the United States; Meghan Trainor was cast in her place. Hudson was cast as Grizabella in the cinematic adaption of Cats in 2018, and the movie was released in 2019.
Hudson, Bono, Will.i.am, and Yoshiki teamed in March 2020 to compose “#SING4LIFE,” a song written and compiled remotely by the four musicians to lift morale during the COVID-19 crisis.Hudson talked about her role as Aretha Franklin in the film Respect with Oprah Winfrey on July 20, 2021.
Respect, directed by Liesl Tommy and released in August 2021, is a biopic of Aretha Franklin. The film was backed by a soundtrack sung exclusively by Hudson, which included renditions of various Franklin songs as well as one original song written specifically for Hudson, “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home),” which was released as the soundtrack’s lead single in June 2021.
Hudson received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Song for the song. Hudson performed Jennifer Hudson – Live at the Apollo: A Night of Soul at the Apollo Theater in New York City on August 19, 2021.Hudson performed “Nessun Dorma” with the New York Philharmonic in Central Park on August 21 at We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert.
Hudson was an executive producer for Baba Yaga, a 27-minute interactive fairytale storey produced for Oculus Quest, which received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Interactive Media for a Daytime Program in September 2021.Hudson met James Payton when she was 18 years old, and they began dating in 1999.
In late 2007, they divorced. Hudson met David Otunga, a WWE pro wrestler and Harvard Law graduate, in September 2008, and the two got engaged.Hudson’s first child, David Daniel Otunga, Jr., was born in August 2009. Hudson and Otunga divorced in November of 2017.
Darnell Donerson, Hudson’s 57-year-old mother, and his brother Jason, 29, were found shot to death inside the Chicago house Donerson shared with Hudson’s older sister, Julia, on October 24, 2008. Julian King, Julia’s 7-year-old nephew, was reported missing and an AMBER Alert was issued for him.
The nephew’s body was discovered on Chicago’s West Side three days later, and an autopsy revealed he died of “several gunshot wounds,” according to the FBI. Julia’s estranged 27-year-old husband, William Balfour, has been charged with three charges of first-degree murder and one act of home invasion, according to police.
He was sentenced to three life sentences without the possibility of parole (to be served consecutively) after being convicted on all seven counts against him in July 2012. He was also sentenced to an additional 120 years for his earlier crimes. In commemoration of the three slain victims, Hudson’s family established The Hudson-King Foundation for Families of Slain Victims.
In memory of her nephew, Hudson and her sister established the Julian D. King Gift Foundation. It helps Chicago-area families in need by distributing Christmas gifts and school supplies.Hudson lives in Burr Ridge, Illinois, a western Chicago suburb, as of 2011.
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1801 Century Park West
Los Angeles, CA 90067-6406
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