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Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Kate Hudson is an American singer and actress. She was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 12, 1981 to Darnell Donnerson and Samuel Simpson. She started singing in her church choir as a child and also performed in community theatre. She graduated from high school in 1999 and enrolled at Langston University but left after one semester and transferred to Kennedy–King College. She received her first singing contract in 2002 with an independent Chicago label called “Righteous Records”. The initial terms of the contract were for 5 years but when Hudson wanted to compete on the reality singing show American Idol, she was effectively released from her contract.

Jennifer Hudson auditioned for season 3 of American Idol from Atlanta which was very popular. During the Top 9 contestants episode, she received the highest number of votes for performing Elton John’s hit song “Circle of Life” but just two weeks later she was eliminated from the show. Her exit from the show caused much controversy at the time, especially given the fact that the bottom three contestants were all African American women. Several magazines, including the Los Angeles Times have commented on how Hudson may be one of the best contestants to ever perform on the show and that her exit was untimely and unwarranted.

In 2005, Hudson was cast in the role of Effie White for the musical “Dreamgirls” starring icons such as Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles and Eddie Murphy. She was selected from amongst hundreds of professional singers and actresses, including the Season 3 American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino. Her performance in the movie was critically acclaimed, both as an actress and singer, and won her numerous awards including the Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Supporting Role, BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She then appeared in the films “Sex and the City” with Sarah Jessica Parker and “The Secret Life of Bees” starring Queen Latifah, Sophie Okonedo and Alicia Keys. The film

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