Played by Jennifer Hudson
A Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Academy Award-winning actress and bestselling author, Jennifer Hudson is an extraordinary talent. From humble beginnings, Hudson began singing in a small Chicago church where, week after week, she brought the congregation to its feet. From there, she’s gone on to worldwide acclaim.
Hudson made her Broadway debut in fall of 2015 as Shug Avery in John Doyle’s re-imagination of The Color Purple. The show is produced by Scott Sanders and Oprah Winfrey.
Hudson released her third critically-acclaimed album, JHUD, which opened in the Billboard Top 10 on September 23, 2014. The album, released by Sony/RCA, features hit tracks such as “Dangerous,” a bass-thumping dance track written and produced by the acclaimed 1985/OVO; the heavy-hitting, disco-inspired track, “It’s Your World,” which features and was produced by R. Kelly; “He Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” a ladies anthem featuring rapper Iggy Azalea; “Walk It Out,” a throwback record produced by and featuring Timbaland that shows Hudson’s Chicago roots; and the Pharrell-produced “I Can’t Describe (The Way I Feel),” featuring T.I. Hudson also included a track produced by rising U.K. stars Gorgon City. “I Still Love You,” brings the perfect mix of dance and house to an already feel-good album. Hudson returned the favor on Gorgon City’s album, Sirens, with “Go All Night,” which was co-written by Kiesza. The track recently released in the U.K. to massive praise. Meanwhile, Hudson’s album has garnered serious attention in the U.S. and abroad with recognition of a true artist’s fresh take that shows off a new sound, a thoughtful departure and a fearless rendering of work produced by some of today’s most prolific collaborators.
2013 was also an exciting year for Hudson. Most notably, receiving her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was also honored with the privilege to perform at the Presidential Inauguration, Super Bowl XLVII and the Academy Awards. In addition, Hudson was also honored by the Recording Academy at the Annual Grammys on the Hill for her philanthropic efforts, specifically with her organization, the Julian D. King Gift Foundation. The same year, Hudson was honored at VH1’s Do Something Awards for her charitable work and also at Variety’s Power of Women luncheon with the Samsung Galaxy Impact Award.
Hudson has also made an impact in the world of music with the successful release of both of her Sony/Arista Records albums. Her sophomore album, I Remember Me, was introduced on March 22, 2011 to rave reviews. The album debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 200 and R&B Albums charts and has since been certified RIAA Gold in the U.S. She went on to receive a 2012 Billboard Music Award nomination for Top R&B Album as well as taking home two 2012 NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Music Video and Outstanding Album. Additional recent collaborations include “Think Like A Man” with Ne-Yo and Rick Ross for the title track of the film, as well as the critically-acclaimed single “Night Of Your Life” with David Guetta for his most recent hit-album Nothing but the Beat.
Hudson’s 2008 debut self-titled record won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, which was presented by one of Hudson’s idols, Whitney Houston. She also received three additional nominations including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best R&B Song. The album then went on to win three awards at the 2009 NAACP Image Awards, including Best Album. The RIAA Gold Certified album entered Billboard’s Top 200 at No. 2 and marked the biggest first week sales for an R&B female entry since 2004. It has since sold over 1.1 million albums worldwide.
In 2015, Hudson appeared in Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, for which she was nominated for a 2016 NAACP Image Award. Hudson was seen in June 2014’s Lullaby, a film by director Andrew Levitas. In November 2013, Hudson also appeared in Black Nativity, her first movie musical since Dreamgirls. Just prior, Hudson was seen in The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete. In September of the same year, Hudson starred alongside Terrence Howard in Darrell Roodt’s Winnie Mandela. The role garnered Hudson an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Actress.
In 2007, Hudson won an Academy Award for her role as Effie in the smash hit Dreamgirls, an adaptation of the Broadway musical. Her breakout film performance also garnered a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA and an NAACP Image Award. Additional credits include being honored by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the National Board of Review and being named Entertainer of the Year at the Soul Train Awards.
Hudson also received an NAACP Image Award nomination in 2009 for her role in Fox Searchlight’s The Secret Life of Bees. Prior to Bees, Hudson co-starred in the box office hit Sex and the City: The Movie.
Expanding her talents in the arts, Hudson added author to her list of accomplishments in January 2012 with the release her New York Times bestselling memoir, I Got This: How I Changed My Ways, Found Myself and Lost Everything that Weighed Me Down.
In 2009, Jennifer, along with her sister Julia, founded The Julian D. King Gift Foundation, a catalyst for change in children’s health, education and welfare. The Foundation exists to provide stability, support and positive experiences for children.