The story of Jennifer Kate Hudson is the living proof of how someone so invisible at the beginning can actually raise to stardom through hard work and determination. Starting her life in Chicago, Illinois, young Hudson who was born September 12, 1981 was lucky to be exposed to such a soulful city. She performed in the small church of her town as a choir solo singer due to the influence from her grand mother, Julia Hudson, who equally was a choir member. She graduated from Dunbar Vocational Career Academy in 1999, worked in Burger King for a while, and engaged in a Chicago's musical production "Big River" where she sang professionally. Soon her talent began to find its way to prominence by performing in Disney's Wonder cruise ship.
To take a bigger leap she decided to enter the one-way-ticket-to-stardom singing contest in 2004, which was none other than the highly rated American Idol. Impressed the judges, she was in for the semifinals before almost missing her chance if Randy Jackson had not put her in the wild card position. Making it through to the semifinals, Hudson had to struggle to maintain her position in the Top 12. Tired of getting actually had been famously played in Broadway by Jennifer Holliday in 1981. Being a first timer big screen actress, it was not an easy road to be in a movie alongside renowned actors such as Beyonce Knowles and Eddie Murphy. Amazingly, instead of being outshined, Hudson with her astounding voice startled the audience by singing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" in the movie. It was such a breakthrough performance that hardly any awards excluded her in the nomination list of Best Supporting Actress.
Due to her brilliant portrayal, everybody in the movie industry had predicted that Hudson would win several awards. Eventually all came as expected, first she won Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture in the Golden Globes and then SAG and BAFTA came along with similar awards. And best of all she was granted Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in the 2007 Academy Awards held on February 25. In the most prestigious event she also performed the song "Love You I Do." Since, she suddenly became a highly demanded both actress and singer. Hands full, she reached the peak of her career after doing only one big screen movie. As an actress she was compared to Barbra Streisand in "Funny Girl" (1968), and as a singer she was acclaimed as the next Aretha Franklin. At that point of life, Hudson did not forget to thank Holliday in her Oscar's acceptance speech. Holliday had become the inspiration in enrolling the character Effie White, the same role that virtually gave her the fame she longed for.
As a rising singer she had been invited to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2006 soon after the release of "Dreamgirls" and also featured in Meat Loaf's album "Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose". Moreover, her voice can also be found in the non-benefited record of Hair singing "Easy to be Hard". Keeping true to herself as a singer, Hudson signed a recording deal in November 2006 with Arista Records under the guidance of Clive Davis, the same man who worked with Whitney Houston, Franklin, and also Dionne Warwick in their early careers.
However, she hadn't released any album ever since. Her label was reportedly unhappy with her choice of music direction and decided to scrap some songs. In-between her busy schedule of recording new songs, she made her way to land her second starring role in ensemble drama "Winged Creatures" (2008) opposite fellow Oscar winner Forest Whitaker. Finally, during an interview in May 2008, she confirmed that her debut album, which would be self titled, would be released on September 30, 2008.
In an attempt to promote her forthcoming album, Hudson released her first single, "Spotlight" on June 9, 2008. Written by Ne-Yo, the song peaked at number two in Billboard Hot Adult R&B Airplay and reached number 3 in Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart. Outside her effort to finish her debut album, she made a live appearance in support of Barack Obama at the Day Four of the Democratic National Convention which took place at Mile High School's Invesco Field in Denver, Colorado on August 28, 2008.