Jennifer Hudson

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Real Name: Jennifer Hudson
Birthday: September 12th

Biography And Filmography:

Jennifer Hudson joined an elite group in 2006, when her performance in the movie “Dreamgirls” was seen as a sure-fire award winner – even before the movie premiered in theaters. She was even named “Female Star of Tomorrow” by the industry’s biggest convention. It was an impressive introduction for a shy and charming Midwestern girl who never had any experience in music or acting, and whose biggest credit was being voted off “American Idol” (2002- ) in the show’s third season.

Born on Sept. 12, 1981, Jennifer Kate Hudson grew up in Chicago, Illinois and started singing in her church choir at the age of eight. Her grandmother, Julia Kate, also sang for the church, and became her source of encouragement. During high school,  Hudson participated in talent shows and stage productions that polished her talents as a singer. Her musical talents got her hired for a singing job with the Disney Cruise Ship line where she played Calliope – a main character in the ship’s variety show. The musical, which she considered a big career jump in her life, lasted through 2003, and motivated her to seek a career in singing.

In the summer of 2003, Hudson went to Atlanta to audition for the Fox network reality competition series, “American Idol: Season 3.” Considering that at this time “American Idol” had already made pop music celebrities out of past contestants Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, and Clay Aiken. With her powerful vocals and captivating personality, she was among 89,000 hopefuls in the season’s audition process. 

Jennifer did not make it through the semifinals, but was later called back to the show as a wildcard pick, as the judges had been impressed by her vocal range. Hudson became an instant hit with her selections of songs by John Lennon, Barry Manilow, and Whitney Houston. Regrettably, it was over for the singer, as she was voted off the show later in the season. 

After the “American Idol” season ended, Hudson went on tour with the show and was away from the media and public view for a few years, until November 2005 when she surfaced to take the role of Effie White in the film adaptation of the stage musical “Dreamgirls.” She auditioned with, and beat out, hundreds of other singers and actresses for the same role that made a star of singer Jennifer Holliday in the early 1980's Broadway production. 

The movie version was packed full of super-star cast members, including Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, and singer Beyoncé Knowles. Even before the film was released on Christmas day of 2006, Jennifer Hudson had Hollywood talking about her possibilities as a favorite for Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards. 

And critics, including Simon Cowell, were flabbergasted by her version of the show’s theme song, “And I am Telling You I'm Not Going.” By early 2007, the award nominations started rolling in for Hudson, who received a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, making her the favorite to win after being nominated for Best Supporting Actress for the 79th Annual Academy Awards.  

The music industry also took notice of her high powered singing in the musical. In addition to her acting jobs on screen, she sang on Meat Loaf’s 2006 album, "Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose", on the song, “The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be.” Hudson was also hired by Clive Davis’ "J Records" in October, 2006. 

In 2008 Hudson starred along side powerhouse celebrities Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Noth, Kim Cattrall and Kristin Davis in the blockbuster cult favorite movie "Sex And The City" (2008). She then worked with Kate Beckinsale in the crime drama "Winged Creatures" (2008), about a group of strangers who form a unique relationship with each other after surviving a random shooting at a Los Angeles diner. 

Hudson was then hired and cast next to Dakota Fanning in the comedy adventure "The Secret Life of Bees" (2008), set in South Carolina in 1964 the film is the moving tale of Lily Owens (Fanning) a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother.

In the summer of 2008 tragedy struck the family, as her young nephew was fatally shot and killed by a family member.  


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