|Born||in Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Birth Name||Jennifer Kate Hudson|
|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 / email@example.com