Jennifer Hudson

September 12, 1981

Jennifer Hudson Artistfacts

  • Jennifer Hudson rose to fame after coming in seventh on American Idol in 2004.
  • As an actress she is best known for portraying Effie White in the 2006 film adaptation of Dreamgirls, for which she won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress.
  • Hudson beat 782 actresses for her role in Dreamgirls including American Idol (2002) winner Fantasia Barrino. She later recalled:

    "I never gave up hope of playing Effie. They'd 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."
  • Hudson's performance of the Dreamgirls song "Love You I Do", won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.
  • On October 24, 2008, Hudson's 57-year-old mother, Darnell Donnerson and 29-year-old brother, Jason, were shot and killed in their home by her sister's estranged husband. Her 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, was kidnapped by the killer and his body was found on Chicago's West Side three days later. Hudson's song "I Remember Me" is based on a diary entry written by her just after the tragic event.
  • She made her first public appearance following the tragedy at the Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, singing "The Star-Spangled Banner."
  • She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 13, 2013.
  • In 2015 Hudson made her Broadway debut in the role of Shug Avery in the 2015 revival of The Color Purple.
  • Hudson made her debut as a coach on the talent show The Voice UK on January 7, 2017.


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