Biographic by Steve McGarry for March 04, 2007
Jennifer Hudson. Born in Chicago on September 12, 1981 Jennifer Kate Hudson sang in the church choir as a little girl, graduating to scores of talent shows and musical productions during her high school years. She got her first professional break when she landed a role on a local production of the Huckleberry Finn musical "Big River" In 2003, she spent six months starring in a Disney Cruise ship production before she successfully auditioned for season three of TV's "American Idol" having progressed to the Final 12, thanks to a wild-card picked by Judge Randy Jackson, she made it through the last seven before she was voted off the show. But her four-octave range and won her legions of fans and genered tremendous media coverage. In November 2005, Jennifer beat out hundreds of other hopefuls to land the coveted role of Effie White in the movie adaption of the stage musical "Dream Girls having slimmed down dramatically from her "Idol" days, she had to gain 20 pounds for the role. The reaction to her performance in the film- and especially her stunning rendition of the showstopper "And I am Telling You that I'm not Going" has been ecstatic, and she has been showered with awards and acclaim. The week after winning a Golden Globe, she was nominated for an academy award, an astonishing accolade for an actress in her screen debut!