We need to talk about Jennifer Hudson’s severely underrated versatility. JHud can both sing and act, and she combines these two talents flawlessly as seen in Dreamgirls, Empire, and soon, the Broadway revival of The Color Purple.
The girl from Chicago who won over Randy Jackson within minutes of meeting him on American Idol is now one of the biggest names in R&B, with both a Grammy and an Oscar to her name. Here are just some of the many things JHud has given to music.
Her unreal American Idol audition
JHud had just wrapped up a gig on a Disney cruise ship when she auditioned for the third season of American Idol. She sang “Share Your Love With Me” by Aretha Franklin and quickly won over the judges’ favor. Fantasia Barrino would go on to win that season, but Jennifer’s run on Idol was a major stepping stone for both her music and acting careers.
A Grammy award-winning self-titled debut album
Jennifer’s eponymous debut album won her a Grammy in 2008 for Best R&B Album. Robin Thicke, Missy Eliott, and Jazmine Sullivan are among those who contributed to the record, JHud’s first of three.
This moment from Dreamgirls
“And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” first appeared on the soundtrack for Dreamgirls in 2006. The song was so good, and JHud’s rendition of it in the movie so memorable, it made its way onto her debut album. She would go on to win an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2007.
An emotional Whitney Houston tribute
The day after Whitney Houston’s devastating death, JHud delivered an amazing and poignant tribute to her. She sang “I Will Always Love You” in the legend’s honor, knocking it all the way out of the park.
This beautiful video in support of gay marriage
Jennifer paired up with W Hotels and the Human Rights Campaign this year to put out visuals for “I Still Love You.” The video is in support of gay marriage and came out shortly before the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality.
“Remember The Music” from Empire
Actually, JHud’s entire role on Empire.
This rendition of “Too Beautiful For Words” from The Color PurpleEmbedded from graphics8.nytimes.com.
Jennifer will be playing Shug in the upcoming Broadway revival of The Color Purple. You can hear her gorgeous rendition of “Too Beautiful For Words” in the above preview.