Hudson made her singing debut in church at the age of seven, and continued singing in local Chicago talent shows throughout her teens. By age 19, she landed her first professional job in the musical Big River
and went on to work for Disney Cruise Lines. Although she placed a disappointing seventh on the third season of American Idol
in 2004, she bounced back when she won the career-making role of Effie White in the lauded 2006 movie musical Dreamgirls
. Not only did Hudson eclipse her costar Beyoncé Knowles with her powerful performance as an ugly-duckling diva, but she also beat out season 3 American Idol
winner Fantasia Barrino for the role. Hudson quickly racked up numerous accolades for her work in the film, including a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and an Oscar for best supporting actress. Her successful vocals led to her first record deal and a self-titled album. Hudson followed her movie debut with a supporting spot in the blockbuster film version of Sex and the City
and in 2010 became a spokesperson for Weight Watchers.Jennifer Hudson Fast Facts:
- First public singing appearance was in church at age 7.
- Performed in musical productions on a Disney cruise ship.
- Gained a following singing her way into a finalist spot in season three of American Idol.
- Won the role as Effie White in the film version of Dreamgirls after beating out more than 700 others who had auditioned, including Fantasia Barrino, the winner of the third season of American Idol.
- Released her self-titled debut album in September 2008; it was later certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
- Won three NAACP Image Awards in 2009, including one for Outstanding New Artist.
- Featured in a 2010 ad campaign for Weight Watchers.
- Jennifer Hudson Relationships:
- James Payton - Ex-significant Other
- Samuel Samson - Father
- Julia Kate Hudson - Grandmother
- Darnell Donerson - Mother
- David Otunga - Fiancé
- David Daniel Otunga Jr. - Son
- Julia Hudson - Sister
- Jason Hudson - Brother
- Jennifer Hudson Awards:
- 2007 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Winner
- 2006 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role - Winner
- 2008 Grammy: Best R&B Album - Winner
- 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Nominee
- 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role - Winner
- 2006 BAFTA Awards: Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Winner
- 2014 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Humanitarian - Winner
- Attended Kennedy-King College, Chicago, IL