Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson is an American singer and actress. She rose to fame in 2004 as a finalist on the third season of American Idol, placing seventh. Hudson made her film debut as Effie White in Dreamgirls (2006), for which she received an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also appeared in Sex and the City (2008), The Secret Life of Bees (2008), and Black Nativity (2013). In 2015, she made her Broadway debut in the role of Shug Avery in The Color Purple.

Following her elimination from American Idol and performance in , Hudson was later signed to Arista Records by Clive Davis and released her self-titled debut studio album in 2008, which was certified gold in the United States, sold over a million copies worldwide, and received a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. Her subsequent studio albums, I Remember Me (2011) and JHUD (2014), saw continued commercial success with the former also being certified gold in the United States. Hudson received her second Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album in 2017 as a cast member on The Color Purple.

Hudson was the subject of significant media attention in 2008 when her mother, brother, and nephew were killed in a shooting. She resumed public appearances the following year, with a high-profile performance at Super Bowl XLIII as well as other mainstream events. Hudson has been described as a friend of former President Barack Obama, who invited her to appear with him at a fundraiser in Beverly Hills during his first term in May 2009. She also performed at the White House at the “Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement” event. In 2013, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Since 2017, Hudson has contributed as a coach on the UK and the US version of The Voice, becoming the first female coach to win the former.

Early Life

Hudson was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Darnell Hudson (deceased since 2008) and Samuel Simpson (deceased since 1999). She was raised as a Baptist and attended Dunbar Vocational Career Academy, graduated in 1999. She cites Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and Patti LaBelle as her overall biggest influences and aspirations. She got her start in performing by singing with the church choir and doing community theatre.


Hudson auditioned for the third season of American Idol, in Atlanta, Georgia. In her audition she commented that she had been singing on Disney Cruise Lines for the past few months (as one of the Muses from Hercules); and contestant judge Randy Jackson said, “We’re expecting more than a cruise ship performance from you.” Jennifer delivered and all the judges agreed it was the best voice they had heard so far in the competition. She was a member of the first group of semifinalists in the Semifinals. She was not voted through to the final round, although she was brought back on the wild card round and put through as a “Top 12” finalist by Jackson.

Hudson struggled to gain popularity in the early stages of Idol’s live shows, receiving the second-lowest number of votes in two of the first three shows. However, after a change in song choices, she soon became a favorite to win, receiving the highest number of votes in the “Top 9” after her performance of Elton John’s “Circle of Life,” on April 6, 2004. Among Hudson’s worthy performances on the show was her rendition of Whitney Houston’s, “I Have Nothing.” Contestant judge Simon Cowell commented that Hudson, “finally proved why she was among the ‘Top 12,'” and referred to the performance a week later as, “sensational.” During the “Top 7” show, Hudson sang a show-stopping rendition of Barry Manilow’s, “Weekend in New England,” which garnered praise from all three judges. Jackson called the song Hudson’s best performance to date; and Simon Cowell noted that Hudson’s presence made the third season a, “Battle of the Divas,” referencing other powerful vocalists Fantasia Barrino and LaToya London. Despite this praise, Hudson was eliminated during this week, which some blamed in part on a power outage in Hudson’s hometown of Chicago due to storms and tornadoes in the area. On April 21, 2004, Hudson became the sixth of the 12 finalists to be voted off the show, finishing the competition in seventh place.

Jennifer Hudson’s husband

Hudson began dating James Payton in 1999 when she was 18. They separated in late 2007. Hudson met David Otunga, a professional wrestler in the WWE and a Harvard Law graduate, and the couple became engaged in September 2008. In August 2009, Hudson gave birth to her first child, her son David Daniel Otunga, Jr.

Jennifer Hudson is no doubt a hard worker and we believe she has had a blessed
career. Ever since she appeared on American Idol Season Three, her fame and
fortune has been on the rise with major money-spinners coming from different
endeavors such as movies, music, voice coach/Judge on “The Voice”, etc.
With all these and more, her net worth sits pretty at a whopping $20 million. This
the figure should be higher but periods of the tragic loss of some of her beloved family
members, as well as the messy split from her fiance, but a minor setback to her career,
hence, her current net worth.

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Husband, Fiance, Son

Jennifer Hudson had been in a long-time relationship with her man, David Otunga (a
Harvard Law graduate and a professional wrestler in the WWE) since 1999. Though
the pair got engaged in 2008, they never tied the knot officially. The reason for this
was given by Hudson who said she and her fiance had to hold off on a wedding till
they were absolutely sure they were a perfect match. They both welcome a son
whom they named David Daniel Otunga, Jr, in August 2009.
Unfortunately, Jennifer and her fiance announced their split in November 2017.
Jennifer had accused Otunga of mental and physical abuse both on her and their son
thus, she requested a protective order against Otunga. But this claim was
debunked by him claiming that Hudson was not being honest. The case is still in
court, hopefully, it will get resolved as soon as possible.

Tragedy And Grief

Jennifer’s family was thrown into a state of mourning on the 24th of October 2008,
when three members of her family were gunned down in cold blood by William
Balfour, her sister’s husband, and brother-in-law. These victims include; Her beloved
57-year-old mother, Darnell Donnerson, her 29-year-old only brother, Jason and her
7-year-old nephew, Julian King who was found dead in the trunk of a car three days
after the incident occurred.

Jennifer loved her mother so much and she was meant to be with her the night of her
death. On that night, she had to fly out to meet her fiance, David Otunga. She
30/09/2019 Who Is Jennifer Hudson Husband or Fiance? Her Net Worth, Son and Family 4/6
believes that she is still alive because she made the trip.
After the incident, Hudson’s family created “The Hudson-King Foundation for Families
of Slain Victims” which was a way to immortalize her slain relatives. The
foundation provides gifts to school kids and families around the Chicago area who are less

American Idol Performances

  • “Imagine” (John Lennon, 1971) (Semifinals; February 10, 2004)
  • “I Believe in You and Me” (The Four Tops, 1982; Whitney Houston, 1996) (Wild card; March 9, 2004)
  • “Baby, I Love You” (Aretha Franklin, 1967) (Soul week; March 16, 2004) (Bottom 2)
  • “No One Else on Earth” (Wynonna Judd)” (Country; March 23, 2004)
  • “(Love is Like a) Heat Wave” (Motown, Martha and the Vandellas; March 30, 2004) (Bottom 2)
  • “Circle of Life” (Elton John, 1994) (Elton John songs; April 6, 2004) (Highest Number Of Votes)
  • “I Have Nothing” (The Bodyguard, Whitney Houston, 1992) (Movie songs week; April 14, 2004)
  • “Weekend in New England” (Barry Manilow, 1976) (Manilow songs; April 20, 2004) (Bottom 3: eliminated)


In November 2005, Hudson was cast in the prized role of Effie White for the film adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls, which also starred Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles, and Eddie Murphy. This role, originally created in a legendary Broadway performance by Jennifer Holliday, marked Hudson’s debut screen performance. She won the role over hundreds of professional singer/actresses, including Raven-Symoné and American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino. Filming of Dreamgirls began on January 9, 2006, and the film went into limited release on December 25, 2006, and national release on January 12, 2007.

Hudson has won particular praise for her show-stopping onscreen rendition of the hit song, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”, the signature song of the role, which had earlier been recorded, and had already reached the status of musical standard, because of the definitive performance of Jennifer Holliday. The New York Observer described Hudson’s performance of the song as, “five mellifluous, molto vibrato minutes that have suddenly catapulted Ms. Hudson… into the position of front-runner for the best-supporting actress Oscar. Newsweek said that when moviegoers hear Hudson sing the song, she, “is going to raise goosebumps across the land.” Variety wrote that Hudson’s performance, “calls to mind debuts like Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl or Bette Midler in The Rose, with a voice like the young Aretha.”

As Effie White, Hudson has garnered 29 awards from film critics as Best Supporting Actress and Breakthrough Performer of 2006. She won the Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Supporting Role. In addition, she has been named Best Supporting Actress by the Broadcast Film Critics Association and also by the Screen Actors Guild.

After seeing Hudson’s performance in Dreamgirls, American Idol judge Simon Cowell taped a congratulatory message to her, which aired on The Oprah Winfrey Show. With the March 2007 issue, Hudson became the third African American celebrity, and the first African-American singer, to grace the cover of US Vogue magazine.

On February 25, 2007, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in this film. At 25-years-old, Hudson became the eighth-youngest winner of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Upon winning this award, Hudson also became one of the very few performers ever to win an Oscar for a debut screen performance. As of 2009, she is also the only person to have gone from participating in a reality television series to becoming an Academy Award winner. During her acceptance speech Hudson said:

“Oh my God, I have to just take this moment in. I cannot believe this. Look what God can do. I didn’t think I was going to win. […] If my grandmother was here to see me now. She was my biggest inspiration.” She also concluded her speech by thanking the woman who brought the character to life on Broadway, Jennifer Holliday. Hudson’s version of, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” debuted at number 98 on the Billboard Hot 100 on January 13, 2007, issue. The Dreamgirls track has since become Hudson’s first Top 10 hit, but not on the Hot 100, as the track registered a new peak at #7 on the Billboard Hot Adult R&B Airplay chart on February 24, 2007. The track has also reached #14 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and remixes of the song have seen Jennifer reach the #1 position on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart.

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Later in 2007, the Mayor of her home town Chicago, Richard M. Daley, declared March 6th as ‘Jennifer Hudson Day’ [15][16]. She also was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on June 18, along with 115 other individuals for 2007.

Dreamgirls Projects

In September 2007, Hudson began work on Sex and the City, as Louise, Carrie Bradshaw’s assistant. Filming finished in December 2007 and the movie premiered on May 30, 2008.

In January 2008, she began filming her fourth film The Secret Life of Bees as “Rosaleen,” the mother figure of “Lily Owens” (Dakota Fanning). Also starring in the film are fellow Oscar nominees Queen Latifah and Sophie Okonedo, as well as Alicia Keys. The film opened on October 17, 2008, and grossed over $37 million at the box office. The film won two People’s Choice Awards in January of 2009 in the categories, Favorite Drama Movie, and Favorite Independent Movie. The film also received nine Black Reel Awards nominations including three wins. Hudson was nominated for her performance in the film but lost to Queen Latifah. The film also received eight nominations at the NAACP Image Awards including a nomination for Hudson for her performance. The awards were presented on February 12, 2009.

In 2009, Hudson appeared as Kathy Archenault in Winged Creatures, a film based on the novel by Roy Freirich, with Forest Whitaker, Guy Pearce, Beckinsale, Dakota Fanning, Josh Hutcherson, and Jackie Earle Haley. The movie was released on DVD on August 4, 2009.

Hudson’s third album, JHUD, was released sometime in August 2014.

Other work

In addition to her film work, Hudson has also worked in television, appearing in three episodes of the NBC show, Smash, which featured season 5 alum Katharine McPhee, as well as the Lifetime movie,  Call Me Crazy: A Five Film, which aired in 2013. In 2014, she landed the role of singer and music therapist Michelle White on the Fox drama series Empire. She was a coach for season 13 of the NBC show The Voice.



  •  Dreamgirls (2006)
  •  Sex and the City (2008)
  •  The Secret Life of Bees (2008)
  •  Fragments- Winged Creatures (2009)
  •  Winnie Mandela (2011)
  •  The Three Stooges (2012)
  •  The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (2013)
  •  Black Nativity (2013)
  •  Lullaby (2014)


  •  Smash (2012) (guest role; 3 episodes)
  •  Call Me Crazy: A Five Film (lead role; TV movie)
  •  Empire (2014-present; recurring)

Jennifer Hudson albums

  • Jennifer Hudson (2008)
  • I Remember Me (2011)
  • JHUD (2014)

Jennifer Hudson – Spotlight Lyrics

Artist: Jennifer Hudson
Album: Jennifer Hudson
Released: 2008
Genre: Contemporary R&B
Nominations: Grammy Award for Best R&B Song


Are you a man who loves
And cherishes
And cares for me?
Is that you? Is that you?
Is that you? yeah,
Are you a guard in a prison
Maximum security?
Is that you? Is that you?
Is that you? yea eh,
Do we stay home all the time
Cause you want me to yourself?
Is that you? Is that you?
Is that you? yeah,
Or am I locked away
Out of fear that I’d find
Someone else
Is that you? Is that you?
Yea hey
Well, I don’t like
Living under your spotlight
Just because you think
I might find somebody worthy
Oh, I don’t like
Living under your spotlight
Baby, if you treat me right
You won’t have to worry
Is this a relationship
Fulfilling your needs
As well as mine
Is that you? Is that you?
Is that you? yeah,
Or is this just my sentence
Am I doing time?
Is that you? Is that you?
Is that you? yeah,
If this is love
Real, real love
Then I’m staying no doubt
Is that you? Is that you?
Is that you? yeah,
But if I’m just love prisoner
Then I’m busting out
Is that you? Is that you?
Well, I don’t like
Living under your spotlight
Just because you think
I might find somebody worthy
Oh, I don’t like
Living under your spotlight
Baby, if you treat me right
You won’t have to worry
Oh, you ought to be
Ashamed of yourself
What the hell
Do you think you’re doing?
Loving me, loving me
So wrong
Baby, all I do is try
To show you
That you’re my
One and only guy
No matter
Who may come along
Open your eyes
Cause baby, I don’t lie
Well, I don’t like
Living under your spotlight
Just because you think
I might find somebody worthy
Oh, I don’t like
Living under your spotlight
Baby, if you treat me right
You won’t have to worry


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