Jennifer Hudson Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (57)  | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (4)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birth NameJennifer Kate Hudson
Nickname J. Hud
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jennifer Hudson is an Academy Award-winning actress, Grammy Award-winning recording artist and best-selling author. This bright, beautiful and booming-voiced talent is a perfect example of how NOT winning the title of American Idol (2002) can still be a superstar boon to your career and not the disappointment of a life time.

Born Jennifer Kate Hudson on September 12, 1981, in Chicago, Illinois, to Darnell Donerson and Samuel Simpson, she earned minor attention as one of the twelve finalists on the third season of the FOX TV series in 2004, but finished an underwhelming sixth runner-up. Hudson grew up singing in gospel choirs, acting in community theater productions, singing on cruise ships and touring for in Disney's "Hercules: The Musical." With no formal musical training, her raw vocal power initially pleased the panel of Idol judges and she, Fantasia Barrino and La Toya London were initially promoted as the show's very own "Dreamgirls" and were expected to be the final three standing at the end of the competition. Surprisingly, all three were midway placed in the bottom group at one point, and Jennifer was cut from the pack. Fantasia eventually won the competition and, seemingly, all the glory and the fame.

Hudson appeared with the "American Idol" summer tour and performed on the road in concerts over the next two years. When it was time to audition for the coveted role of "Effie Melody White" in the long-awaited film version of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls (2006), among Jennifer's competition would be Fantasia herself. This time Jennifer was the winner and earned the right to play the coveted role. Immediately ordered to gain weight for the role, the film was loosely based on the real-life pursuits of The Supremes, with the character of Effie taking on the tragic form of the group's ill-fated co-founder Florence Ballard (1943-1976), but with a far less tragic ending.

Jennifer's performance became the most triumphant musical film debut since Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl (1968). Making the role her own, she delivered the same heart-breaking, gut-wrenching one-two punch that made Jennifer Holliday, who originated the role on stage, the toast of the Broadway scene in 1981. It was no easy task to outshine both Beyoncé and Eddie Murphy in one movie, but Jennifer was the movie's heart and soul and easily won over the critics. She went on to win not only the Oscar, Golden Globe, British Film, New York Film Critics and National Board of Review awards for "Best Supporting Actress," she picked up nearly every film critic's award there was to be had!

Hudson's meteoric rise made quite an impact in the world of music with the successful release of both her Sony/Arista Records albums. Her 2008 debut, self-titled record debuted at #2 on the "Billboard Hot 100" and won a Grammy Award for "Best R & B Album, and her sophomore album, "I Remember Me," also debuted at #2 and went on to win three awards at the 2009 NAACP Image Awards including "Best Album." Her third album, 2014's "JHUD," released by RCA, was a highly successful throwback to 70's inspired R&B.

Continuing to distinguish herself on the large screen, Jennifer began things off featured in the film version of Sex and the City (2008) with Sarah Jessica Parker. She then played the concerned daughter of compulsive gambler Forest Whitaker in the drama Fragments (2008); earned a NAACP Image Award nomination for her moving effort in the tender drama The Secret Life of Bees (2008); portrayed Winnie Mandela opposite Terrence Howard's Nelson in the biopic Winnie Mandela (2011); co-starred with Whitaker again and Angela Bassett in the family Christmas drama Black Nativity (2013); co-starred as an amateur singer taken in by talent agent Adam Sandler in the romantic comedy Sandy Wexler (2017); appeared as Grizabella in the film version of the hit musical Cats (2019); and was given the opportunity to play the "Queen of Soul" herself, Aretha Franklin, in the biopic Respect (2021). Back in 2013, she was honored, at such a young stage, with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

On TV, Jennifer has played the recurring roles of Veronica Moore in the musical series Smash (2012) and Michelle White in the dramatic series Empire (2015). She also was given the distinction of playing and singing the role of Motormouth Maybelle in the live TV movie Hairspray Live! (2016).

As for other special live performances over the years, Jennifer was invited to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl XLVIII in Tampa, Florida on February 1, 2009. It would be her first live performance since the October 24, 2008 family tragedy of losing mother Darnell and older brother Jason in a domestic shooting incident. In January of 2013, she was asked to perform at the Obama Presidential Inaugural Ball and in 2019, was invited to sing the nominated song "I'll Fight" from the movie RBG (2018), a documentary chronicling the life and career of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Honored at VH1's Do Something Awards for her charitable work and also the recipient of the Samsung Galaxy Impact Award at Variety's Power of Women luncheon with the Samsung Galaxy Impact Award, Jennifer, along with her sister Julia Hudson, founded The Julian D. King Gift Foundation in 2009, as a catalyst for change in children's health, education and welfare. The Foundation exists to provide stability, support and positive experiences for children of all backgrounds so that they will become productive, confident and happy adults.

Expanding her talents in the arts, Hudson added author to her list of accomplishments in January 2012 with the release her New York Times best-selling memoir, "I Got This: How I Changed My Ways, Found Myself and Lost Everything that Weighed Me Down." She has a son, David Otunga Jr., born on August 10, 2009, by ex-fiancé, David Otunga.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Trade Mark (1)

Mezzo-soprano vocals

Trivia (57)

Jennifer was going to perform "Over the Rainbow" for movie night but was informed that she had have to perform it Kimberley Locke's way and decided to sing "I Have Nothing" instead.
Beat American Idol (2002) winner Fantasia Barrino for her role in Dreamgirls (2006), despite the fact that Barrino had won Season 3 of the talent show with Hudson trailing in seventh place (2004).
Beat out 782 actresses for her role as Effie White in Dreamgirls (2006).
Jennifer's role of Effie Melody White in Dreamgirls (2006) is a thinly-disguised portrait of the late ousted Supreme member Florence Ballard. However, Flo's story ended tragically, unlike that of the Effie character. Of Diana Ross and Mary Wilson, Ballard, who gave the Supremes its name, was the strongest vocalist of the three. At one point, all three girls shared leads. Labeled the no-hit Supremes for a time, astute Motown mogul Berry Gordy decided Ross had the ideal personality and coy voice to pull in cross-over white audiences. The Supremes were a sensation with Ballard and Wilson shoved permanently into the background and never given any solo lines. Unlike Effie, Ballard's weight was not a factor until well into stardom. Fed by Ross's diva-like stance, Flo's ongoing depression and problems with alcohol grew. Ballard's unreliability triggered her dismissal in 1967. An attempt at a solo career was a complete bust, since she was never allowed to feed off the Supremes name for publicity. Ballard became destitute with three children to support and her health severely declined. Unlike Effie, Flo never was able to make a comeback and died of a coronary thrombosis in 1976 at age 32.
Is the first contestant from American Idol (2002) to be nominated and receive an Academy Award.
A revival of the 1981 Broadway smash "Dreamgirls" is in the talking stage and Jennifer has been approached about recreating her role as Effie White.
Is one of a very few actors to receive an Academy Award for their debut performance.
After appearing on the March 2007 issue of Vogue magazine, she became the third African-American celebrity to grace the front cover. The other two were Oprah Winfrey and Halle Berry.
Worked at Burger King before becoming a contestant on American Idol (2002) and winning the role of her Academy-Award winning performance in Dreamgirls (2006).
Attended and graduated from Dunbar Vocational High School in Chicago, Illinois; she sang in the school's chorus (1999).
She cites Whitney Houston as her musical/movie influence, and has also said recently that her biggest wish is to collaborate on her debut album with Houston.
Became close friends with singer Beyoncé during the filming of Dreamgirls (2006). Beyoncé was present at the February 2007 Academy Awards ceremony where Jennifer won the Oscar for best supporting actress.
Is one of the 16 actors to win an Oscar for their film debut. The others are: Shirley Booth for Come Back, Little Sheba (1952), Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins (1964), Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl (1968) and Marlee Matlin for Children of a Lesser God (1986) (all for Best Actress in a Leading Role), followed by Katina Paxinou for For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Mercedes McCambridge for All the King's Men (1949), Eva Marie Saint for On the Waterfront (1954), Jo Van Fleet for East of Eden (1955), Goldie Hawn for Cactus Flower (1969), Tatum O'Neal for Paper Moon (1973), Anna Paquin for The Piano (1993) and Lupita Nyong'o for 12 Years a Slave (2013) (all for Best Actress in a Supporting Role). The three male actors are Harold Russell for The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Timothy Hutton for Ordinary People (1980), and Haing S. Ngor for The Killing Fields (1984) (all for Best Actor in a Supporting Role). Out of these 16 actors, only Mercedes McCambridge, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand and Goldie Hawn have been nominated since their win.
She signed a record deal with Clive Davis's label, Arista Records. [November 2006]
Packed on 20 pounds to play the role of Effie White in Dreamgirls (2006).
Dedicated her Golden Globe Award to Florence Ballard on whom her Dreamgirls (2006) character Effie White is so obviously based on. [January 2007]
Managed to eke out a thanks to the original stage Effie, Jennifer Holliday, as the orchestra music began to unceremoniously drown out Jennifer's emotional Oscar acceptance speech. Both Holliday and Sheryl Lee Ralph (the theater's first Deena) had expressed hurt and dismay earlier at being snubbed during the mounting publicity for the "Dreamgirls" film. The third original Dreamgirl on stage, Loretta Devine, received a singing cameo in the film version. The other two were not offered or even approached to appear in the film.
(March 10, 2007) She was overwhelmed to receive the Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, California. She also performed at the ceremony and said, "I just can't believe I got the Sammy Davis Jr. Award. I'm standing on the same stage where I made the top 32 of American Idol.".
Jennifer attributes her vocal talents to her late grandmother Julia Kate Hudson, who was a former choir mistress in Chicago.
Is one of 7 African-American actresses to win an Oscar in a competitive category. In chronological order the others are: Hattie McDaniel for Gone with the Wind (1939), Whoopi Goldberg for Ghost (1990), Halle Berry for Monster's Ball (2001), Mo'Nique for Precious (2009), Octavia Spencer for The Help (2011) and Viola Davis for Fences (2016).
Her best supporting actress Oscar for Dreamgirls (2006) stands on the mantel of her Chicago apartment.
Her favourite female pop artist is Céline Dion.
Her favourite types of music are R&B and pop music.
Is one of 115 people invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in 2007.
Began singing when she was 7-years-old. As a child, Jennifer performed as part of a choir at her local church in Chicago.
Is one of 15 African-American actresses to be nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. The others in chronological order are: Hattie McDaniel, Ethel Waters, Juanita Moore, Beah Richards, Alfre Woodard, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Queen Latifah, Ruby Dee, Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson, Mo'Nique and Octavia Spencer. As of 2012, Whoopi Goldberg and Viola Davis are the only African-American actresses to receive nominations in both the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories.
Was cast in the comedy-drama Meet the Browns (2008), but was replaced shortly before filming began.
Made her stage debut with the one-off concert revival of "Hair" on Broadway in September 2004. She then returned to Broadway for the one-off concert revival of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" as Jewel in October 2006.
Was not in attendance at the 2007 BAFTA Awards ceremony when she was won the award as Best Supporting Actress for Dreamgirls (2006). Actor and fellow BAFTA-nominee, Daniel Craig, accepted the award on her behalf. Her award was shipped to her but got lost in the mail. In 2011, Hudson appeared on British talk show, The Graham Norton Show: Jennifer Hudson/K D Lang/Bill Bailey (2011), where Norton surprised her with the award.
As of 2007, she is the eighth youngest recipient of the best supporting actress Academy Award. She won the award at the age of 25 for her performance in Dreamgirls (2006). The others, ranked from youngest to the seventh youngest, are: Tatum O'Neal (aged 10) for Paper Moon (1973), Anna Paquin (aged 11) for The Piano (1993), Patty Duke (aged 16) for The Miracle Worker (1962), Anne Baxter (aged 23) for The Razor's Edge (1946), Teresa Wright (aged 24) for Mrs. Miniver (1942), Goldie Hawn (aged 24) for Cactus Flower (1969) and Angelina Jolie (aged 24) for Girl, Interrupted (1999). She is also the youngest African-American actress ever to win an Academy Award.
Claims that Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993) is her favorite film. Sheryl Lee Ralph, who appears in that film, was in the original Dreamgirls Broadway cast.
Was in a relationship with maintenance engineer James Peyton between 1999-2007.
The song "All Dressed in Love" was written for the soundtrack of Sex and the City (2008).
Director Michael Patrick King and actress Sarah Jessica Parker wanted Jennifer specifically to play the role of Louise, Carrie's assistant, in Sex and the City (2008). He created the role with only her in mind.
Confessed that before making the film Sex and the City (2008), she had never seen the television series Sex and the City (1998). After reading the film script, she went out and bought all of the DVDs on the television series and became completely addicted to them.
Is one of 13 actresses to have won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics' Choice Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award for the same performance. The others in chronological order are Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich (2000), Renée Zellweger for Cold Mountain (2003), Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line (2005), Helen Mirren for The Queen (2006), Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008), Mo'Nique for Precious (2009), Natalie Portman for Black Swan (2010) and Octavia Spencer for The Help (2011), Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables (2012), Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine (2013), Patricia Arquette for Boyhood (2014) and Julianne Moore for Still Alice (2014).
Mentioned by Niatia 'Lil Mama' Kirkland in the remix of Avril Lavigne's song "Girlfriend": "I'm telling you like Jennifer Hudson".
She is the daughter of Samuel Simpson and Darnell Hudson Donerson, and is the youngest of three children. Her father was a bus driver. Her brother, Jason, was a mechanic, and her sister, Julia Hudson, works as a school bus driver.
Engaged to David Otunga from September 12, 2008: her 27th birthday to November 16, 2017.
Her mother Darnell, aged 57, and brother Jason, aged 29, were shot and killed at their home in Chicago on October 24, 2008. Her nephew Julian Hudson-King, aged seven, was kidnapped and later found on October 27, dead due to multiple gun shot wounds, in the rear seat of a white SUV ten miles from the family home. Her brother-in-law William Balfour, who is the estranged husband of her sister Julia Hudson, was later arrested for the homicides.
Has a half-sister named Dinah Simpson.
Was invited to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" at Barack Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009, but respectfully declined, opting instead to make her comeback at the 2009 Super Bowl.
Has three Pomeranian dogs called Oscar, Grammy and Dreamgirl.
Has a son: David Otunga Jr. (b. August 10, 2009) with ex-fiancé, David Otunga.
Celebrated her son David's first birthday with a WWE-themed party.
Is a huge fan of Michael Bublé and invited him to sing with her on her Christmas TV special Jennifer Hudson: I'll Be Home for Christmas (2009).
Returned to work 5 months after giving birth to her son David in order to begin recording her second album, "I Remember Me".
On June 10, 2011, she was rushed to the hospital with severe abdominal pains; was later diagnosed with food poisoning.
Officially received, for the first time, the BAFTA trophy she had won for Dreamgirls (2006) when she appeared as a guest on The Graham Norton Show: Jennifer Hudson/K D Lang/Bill Bailey (2011). When Norton learned that Hudson had never actually received her trophy due to her absence on the night of the event, he organized a reissue of the prize with the British film academy and personally presented it to her himself.
Jennifer Hudson is the Godmother for the Disney Dream cruise ship.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6262 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on November 13, 2013.
Was the 129th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Dreamgirls (2006) at The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) on February 25, 2007.
Is one of 27 actresses to have received an Academy Award nomination for their performance in a musical; hers being Dreamgirls (2006). The others, in chronological order, are: Bessie Love for The Broadway Melody (1929), Grace Moore for One Night of Love (1934), Jean Hagen for Singin' in the Rain (1952), Marjorie Rambeau for Torch Song (1953), Dorothy Dandridge for Carmen Jones (1954), Deborah Kerr for The King and I (1956), Rita Moreno for West Side Story (1961), Gladys Cooper for My Fair Lady (1964), Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins (1964), The Sound of Music (1965), and Victor Victoria (1982), Debbie Reynolds for The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), Peggy Wood for The Sound of Music (1965), Carol Channing for Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), Kay Medford for Funny Girl (1968), Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl (1968), Liza Minnelli for Cabaret (1972), Ronee Blakley for Nashville (1975), Lily Tomlin for Nashville (1975), Ann-Margret for Tommy (1975), Lesley Ann Warren for Victor Victoria (1982), Amy Irving for Yentl (1983), Nicole Kidman for Moulin Rouge! (2001), Queen Latifah for Chicago (2002), Catherine Zeta-Jones for Chicago (2002), Renée Zellweger for Chicago (2002), Penélope Cruz for Nine (2009), Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables (2012), Meryl Streep for Into the Woods (2014), and Emma Stone for La La Land (2016).
Is one of 8 actresses to have won an Academy Award for their performance in a musical. The others in chronological order are; Rita Moreno, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anne Hathaway and Emma Stone.
Had she not accepted an invitation by fiancé David Otunga to accompany him to Florida on a training trip that fateful weekend in October 2008, she would have been at her mother's Chicago home where her estranged brother-in-law William Balfour fatally shot both her mother and older brother.
Is one of 6 actresses to have won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for playing a character who is pregnant at some point during the film, hers being for Dreamgirls (2006). The others are Mary Astor for The Great Lie (1941), Kim Hunter for A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Mary Steenburgen for Melvin and Howard (1980), Brenda Fricker for My Left Foot (1989), and Rachel Weisz for The Constant Gardener (2005).
Diane Warren was nominated for a 2019 Academy Award in the Best Original Song category for her work on "I'll Fight" from RBG (2018) but lost to Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt & Benjamin Rice for "Shallow" from A Star Is Born (2018). Jennifer Hudson was the performer of the song, and sang it at the Oscar ceremony.

Personal Quotes (10)

[on her Dreamgirls (2006) role] I never gave up hope of playing Effie. They would talk to me and then look at other people and then come back to me... but I always had the faith. I had to separate myself from the process and not think about it too much or I'd go crazy.
I just tried to live in the moment and be natural, as if there were no cameras there. Maybe it's because I felt like singing and acting are related. When you're singing you have to sell it. You act out that song; you have to know the meaning and purpose of it. I let that guide me.
I don't do clubs. I don't drink. I don't smoke.
In a recent interview, I was asked how I reconciled being a Christian with performing at events for my gay fans. I find it upsetting that some folks equate being a Christian with being intolerant of gay people. That may, unfortunately, be true for some, but it is not true for me. I have talked often of my love and support of the gay community. I have said again and again that it was the gay community that supported me long before and long after American Idol (2002), and kept me working and motivated. It is the gay community that celebrated my voice and my size and my personality long before Dreamgirls (2006). Yes, I was raised Baptist. Yes, I was taught that the Bible has certain views on homosexuality. The Bible also teaches us not to judge. It teaches us to love one another as God loves us all. I love my sister, my two best friends and my director dearly. They happen to be gay. So what? While some search for controversy, I hope that my friends and fans who know me, know where I stand.
I have a serious shopping problem now. Each city we go to, my suitcase won't hold the new clothes, so we have to box them up and ship them home.
Growing up, when we would get gym shoes, my brother and sister would get the name brands. But I said, "I don't need a name brand. With me wearing it, it makes it special by itself.".
[on American Idol (2002)] The first series, I wasn't so interested. It was summer, I wanted to be outside. But my mother was on at me: "You should watch this". To start with I was like, "Whatever", but when Kelly Clarkson won the first series I was literally nauseous. I realized it could be for real. I was beating myself up that I didn't go and audition. When season two came around I had started working for the Disney Cruise Line and that was a given, whereas "Idol" was a gamble. So I stuck with what I had. I used the ship experience to test myself. When I got off the ship two days later I went to audition for "American Idol". That's when the ball started rolling.
I sometimes think the only constant is my voice. That hasn't gone away.
[on her song "Moan", written in her mother's memory] Mom would always tell us if you are hurting, moan and you will feel better. That's the title of the song. There is not a day that goes by when I don't repeat the things she said. She was very quiet. The complete opposite of us kids. Now she has gone, I realize she had a lot to say. My brother, too, I hear him, too. When we were kids, any time my brother saw me crying, he would be like "Jenny, knock it off". And that's what I hear him say when I cry now.
[on her religious faith] It was the ultimate help to me. We always said: "If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it." There would be no point in faith if it wasn't tested. My mother always told me no matter how negative your life seems to be, you must always look for a positive. That is what I believe a woman of faith should do.

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