Jennifer Hudson was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 12, 1981. Intent on following the careers of her idols like Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin, she entered the Atlanta auditions for the third season of American Idol. She impressed the judges and was sent to Hollywood, where she eventually became a member of the final 36. Her initial stint on the competition weren’t popular, but a change of songs made her one of the frontrunners of that season, and she eventually was included in the top 12.
Hudson’s performances as part of the top 12 were applauded by audiences, with American Idol judge Simon Cowell describing it at one point as “sensational.” Despite her popularity, she was the sixth among the 12 to be eliminated, in a somewhat controversial outcome. Nevertheless she toured with the rest of the competition’s top 10, including the season’s eventual winner, Fantasia Barrino.
In 2005, Hudson was cast as Effie White in the musical film Dreamgirls, which also starred Beyonc? Knowles, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx. She beat out hundreds of professional singers and actress, including Barrino. Her character is the lead singer of female soul group the Dreamettes, who deals with changes with her life as the popularity of her group ensues. Her performance of the signature song “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” was applauded by critics, and when the film was finally premieres, Hudson received heaps of praise for her acting. She eventually won 29 awards for her role, including a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress—the eighth youngest to do so.
Hudson has also appeared in Sex and the City, The Secret Life of Bees, Winnie and The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete. In 2013, she became part of the cast of the second season of NBC's Smash as Veronica Moore.
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Austin Film Critics Association Award for Breakout Artist
African-American Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
BET Award for Best Actress
BET Award for Best New Artist
Black Reel Award: Best Supporting Actress
Black Reel Award: Best Breakthrough Performance
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Central Ohio Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Pauline Kael Breakout
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Hollywood Life Award for Breakthrough of the Year
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
National Board of Review Award for Best Female Breakthrough Performance
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
New York Online Film Critics Award for Breakthrough Performer
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Award for Breakout Performance
Palm Springs International Film Festival Award for Breakthrough Performance
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
ShoWest Female Star of Tomorrow Award
Soul Train Award for Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress: Drama
Washington, DC Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Washington, DC Film Crtics Association Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
2009: Best R&B Album
2012: Outstanding Album and Outstanding Music Video
NAACP Image Awards
Jen, Jenny, Jenny-Kate, Jhud
"I have the height of a model, the breast that people pay for, and the lips that everybody wants so why change?"
"if its not worth workiing for, its not worth it at all"