Beautiful Akon feat. Kardinal Offishal
She's the woman who failed to win American Idol yet went on to score a Grammy for her very first album and an Oscar for her very first film. There's so much to know about Jennifer Hudson...
In 2007, the mayor of her hometown in Chicago, Richard M. Daley, declared March 6 as 'Jennifer Hudson Day'.
n a recent interview with Capital XTRA's Kojo she said; "When Kelly Clarkson won… It really showed what the show was about, I was like 'I can't believe I didn't go," adding; "I said if I can get through the contract on the ship it means I'm cut out to do Idol, but if I cant I'm not meant to do it. So I made it through and two days after I got off the ship I went and auditioned for idol". Picture: Getty
She cites Whitney, Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle as her biggest inspirations – little did Jen know that she would go on to share a stage with the icon, and perform 'I Will Always Love You' in her honour following her untimely passing at the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012.
Some stars wait years and seem to always leave empty handed, but not Jennifer Hudson. The star won a Grammy Award for the Best R&B Album for her self-titled debut album in 2009. The album has sold more than 1 million copies worldwide. Picture: Getty
It takes a lot to outshine Beyonce – but some how Jennifer managed to take the spotlight in the 2007 film Dreamgirls, which she starred in alongside the 'XO' singer and Eddie Murphy. Hudson picked up the award for 'Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role' plus another 28 awards in total for playing Effie White. Picture: PA
She won the award for 'Best Supporting Actress' at the 2007 awards ceremony, but wasn't there to receive it and it went missing. Four years later Jennifer Hudson was finally presented the award on The Graham Norton Show in the UK (why then? We do not know). Picture: PA
Jennifer appeared on the March 2007 cover of Vogue as only the third African-American celebrity and the first African-American singer. Picture: Vogue Magazine 2007/ Vogue.Com
Hudon's mum, brother and nephew were tragically murdered by the the estranged husband of her sister Julia. The killer was was sentenced to three life sentences without the possibility of parole; served one after another, followed by an additional 120 years for his other conviction.
Everyone knows J-Hud came seventh (robbed, we know) in American Idol, but it's little-known that she was in fact signed with independent label Righteous Records before the show. After a year of intense training, Jennifer was released from the contract so she could appear on American Idol in 2004, but she credits the company's president so teaching her teaching and preparing her.
After six months of auditions and two screens test, Jennifer beat nearly 800 other women to earn her place as the film supporting lady Effie White.
She says she feels better than ever and she certainly looks incredible. The star did it all through weight-watchers and is now the company's spokesperson after becoming just a fraction of her former self. Picture: Instagram
At the age of 7, she got her start in performing by singing with the church choir and doing community theatre with the help of her late maternal grandmother, Julia Picture: Instagram
On November 13, 2013, Hudson was awarded with the 2,512th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Picture: PA
The album, released in September 2008, was written and co-produced by Ne-Yo. Additional contributors on the album include Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Robin Thicke and many others… The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and won the Grammy for Best R&B Album in 2009.
There were 11,000 other hopefuls on the third season of American Idol the year that Jennifer auditioned, so coming seventh was a brilliant achievement, although many thought she was robbed. Hudson sung Aretha Franklin's 'Share Your Love With Me,' and Judge Randy Jackson called her audition "brilliant".