Jennifer Hudson biography
Jennifer Kate Hudson (born September 12, 1981) is an American recording artist, actress and spokesperson. She came to prominence in 2004 as a finalist on the third season of American Idol, coming in seventh place. She made her film debut in Dreamgirls (2006), which won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, an NAACP Image Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
She won a Grammy Award for her eponymous debut album, Jennifer Hudson, which was released in 2008 on Arista Records and was certified gold by the RIAA for selling over 800,000 copies in the US; with sales exceeded 1 million copies worldwide. Additionally, it spawned the hit single "Spotlight". Her second album, I Remember Me, was released in March 2011, and reached number two on the Billboard 200, selling 165,000 copies in its first week of release. The album was certified gold by the RIAA, for shipping over 500,000 copies in the US.
In late 2008, after Hudson's mother, brother and nephew were killed in a shooting, Hudson stepped out of the limelight for three months. Hudson resumed her public appearances in 2009, and has since performed at the Super Bowl XLIII, the Grammy Awards, American Idol, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Hudson has been described as a friend of President Barack Obama, who invited her to appear with him at a fundraiser in Beverly Hills in May 2009. She also performed at the White House at the "Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement" event. Her vocal range is mezzo-soprano. Hudson has sold 1,280,000 albums and 2,237,000 tracks in the United States as of February 2012.
Jennifer Hudson was born on September 12, 1981, in Chicago, Illinois. She is the third and youngest child of Darnell Donnerson (November 7, 1950 - October 24, 2008) and Samuel Simpson (died 1999). She was raised as a Baptist in Englewood and attended Dunbar Vocational High School, from which she graduated in 1999. She cites Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and Patti LaBelle as her overall biggest influences and inspiration. At the age of 7, she got her start in performing by singing with the church choir and doing community theater with the help of her late maternal grandmother, Julia. She enrolled at Langston University but she left after a semester due to homesickness and unhappiness with the weather, and signed up at Kennedy-King College.
In January 2002, Hudson signed her first recording contract with Righteous Records, a Chicago-based independent record label. The company's president, David Johnson, and his staff put Jennifer through a full year of artist development, working five days a week on live performance, stage presence, songwriting, on-camera interviewing, charm school etiquette and physical fitness. She was released from her five-year contract with Righteous Records so that she could appear on American Idol in 2004, but Jennifer credits David Johnson with teaching her "so much" and preparing her for the successful career she is enjoying today.
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