The Life of Jennifer Hudson


Jennifer Hudson is considered to have a voice that is one of a kind and transcends all bounds. The purpose of the artist post is to discuss the career that Jennifer Hudson has made for herself, the impact she has made on others as well as the history that has developed her as well as her career. From the information obtained, it is clear that Jennifer Hudson has left a positive on both the music and film industry. 

Where It All Began

Jennifer Kate Hudson was born on September 12, 1981 in Chicago, Illinois to the parents Darnell Donnerson and Samuel Simpson. She is the youngest of all of her siblings which is a total of 26. She is familiar with a few of them including Julia, Jason, Dinah, etc. She found her father at the age of 15 years old. He stayed with them until he passed. In September 2008, Hudson and her boyfriend at the time became engaged. In November of 2017, their relationship of 10 years ended. Midway through Jennifer Hudson’s career in October 2008, she experienced the loss of her mother, brother and nephew. While coping with the loss of her family, she gave birth to a beautiful son by the name of David Daniel Otunga Jr. a year later. 


As a young child, she began singing at the age of 7 years old in her church choir in Chicago. She was heavily influenced by her grandmother, Julia Kate Hudson, growing up. At the age of 11, she sang at her great grandmother’s 90th birthday party and all of her family members were blown away by her voice. As she grew older, she continued to sing at wedding receptions and attended Dunbar Vocational Career Academy. After graduating, she attended Langston University in 1999. Two years later, she transferred to Kennedy King College to study music.


While Jennifer was in college, she appeared in a local musical in Chicago called Big River. Not too long after college, she secured her first professional singing opportunity for a Disney Cruise Ship in 2003, where she starred in Hercules: The Musical. She was featured as Calliope, the head muse. Following her role in the Hercules musical, she decided to audition for American Idol. Unfortunately, she reached the final round of the show and was placed in seventh place before she was eliminated. She participated in the American Idol: Season Three tour before continuing her singing at charitable events on Broadway in the summer of 2004. In the summer of 2005, Hudson auditioned for Dreamgirls and landed the role over 780 contestants including Fantasia. She played the role of Effie White and managed to blow everyone away with her rendition of “And I Am Telling You”. She received over 5 awards for her role in the film including: an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, Sammy Davis Jr Award, Oscar and BAFTA Award. In May of 2008, she was featured as an assistant in the movie, Sex and the City. Later in the year, she also starred the Secret Life of Bees alongside Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, etc. In September of 2008, she released her self-debuted album, Jennifer Hudson after being signed to Arista/ J Records. It included songs like Spotlight,  In 2009, she accepted a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, sang the Star-Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl, and went on tour with Robin Thicke.


In the midst of her artistic creativity, Hudson went on a weight-loss journey. She was a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and published a book that was titled I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down. In the same year, she started her own clothing line and was featured on the Think Like A Man soundtrack. In the process of featuring on the soundtrack, she starred in the Winnie Mandela biopic as Winnie Mandela in 2011. She also released her second studio album titled I Remember Me in March of 2011. The following year, she starred in The Three Stooges film in 2012. In 2013, she participated in the TV musical series, Smash and Black Nativity. Jennifer Hudson performed former-President Barack Obama’s Inauguration ball earlier in the year. In 2014, JHUD was produced and released as her third studio album under RCA Records. The album featured the single, It’s Your World, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance. 

In 2015, Jennifer Hudson continued her acting career as she starred in the drama TV show, Empire, Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, and HBO film Confirmation. The next year, she continued her career on Broadway as she was included in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. She received a Grammy for her award winning performance. She was included in the cast of the performance, Hairspray Live! Then in 2017, she became a judge on the well known television show, The Voice. In 2019, she stopped being a judge for the voice to be a part of the musical, Cats. Most recently, she participated in the biopic film, Aretha and starred as Aretha Franklin herself in 2020.

Contemporaries/ Influences

Jennifer Hudson has a voice that is full of emotion, passion and soul. Her influences range from Xscape, Brandy, Jade, Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle to Gladys Knight and the list continues. She remains to be one of the upcoming generations major influences in regard to Contemporary R&B music. Artists that are similar to Hudson are: Fantasia, Beyonce, Marsha Ambrosius, Adele, Jazmine Sulivan, etc.

Trials and Tribulations

 Every artist goes through trials and tribulations to some extent during their career. Jennifer Hudson endured the loss of her mother, Darnell Donnerson, her brother, Jason Simpson, and nephew, Julian King, in October of 2008.

Album Spotlight

Her first album, Jennifer Hudson, debuted on Billboard 200 at No 2. It featured artists like Fantasia, Ludacris, T-Pain, etc. It was produced and written by Stargate, Ne-Yo, Missy Elliot, etc. Some songs on the album include Spotlight, If It Isn’t Love, Invisible, You Pulled Me Through, etc. Throughout this album, she makes it her mission to tell her personal stories through the music. The best music she produces is made by her desiring to be moved by her music.

Award-Winning Jennifer Hudson

2007 Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Academy Award)

2007 Best R&B Album (Grammy)

2007 Best Supporting Actress (Critics Choice)

2007 Best Actress in a Supporting Role (BAFTA)

2007 Best Supporting Actress (Golden Globe)

2007 Outstanding Performance (Screen Actors Guild)

2017 Best Musical Theater Album (Grammy)

2007 Choice Movie Actress (Teen Choice Award)

2009 Outstanding Duo or Group (NAACP Image)

2007 Outstanding Supporting Actress (NAACP Image)

2007 Best Actress (BET)

2006 Best Actress in a Supporting Actress (Satellite)

2012 Outstanding Music Video (NAACP Image)

2012 Outstanding Album (NAACP)

2007 Best New Artist (BET)

2009 Outstanding New Artist (NAACP Image)

2014 Favorite Humanitarian (People’s Choice)

2007 Sammy Davis Jr. Entertainer of the Year (Soul Train)

2017 Trailblazer of the Year (Glamour)

Social Involvement/ Humanitarian Acts

American Foundation for AIDS Research

Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes


Boys & Girls Clubs of America

What is Jennifer Hudson doing now?

Jennifer Hudson continues to influence and coach others to be the best version of themselves that they can be. She wants them to push that narrative through their music. She acts as a philanthropist and continues to donate to charities across the world. She continues to enhance her acting portfolio and produce new waves of music. In 2020, Jennifer Hudson performed “A Change Is Gonna Come” at the Democratic National Convention.


JHUD (2014)



I Remember Me (2011)



Jennifer Hudson (2008)


Jennifer Hudson has had a very fulfilling career and continues to be an active member of her community, making a positive impact on those around her. Jennifer Hudson is a very successful singer, actress, and spokesperson. She is known for her amazing voice and a


Jennifer Hudson. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Price, G. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Khan, C. (2007). Jennifer hudson. Interview, 36(11), 120–121. Retrieved from


Jennifer Hudson. (2019). Retrieved from


Contemporary Black Biography. (2021). Retrieved from


Jennifer Hudson: ‘How do you be a cat? I sat with that for ever’. (2019). Retrieved from


Jennifer Hudson: Biography & History. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Jennifer Hudson. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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