Born: September 12, 1981
Date of Birth: September 12, 1981
Born and raised in Chicago, Jennifer Hudson began singing when she was seven and made her public debut in the small church where she attended services with her family. She went on to become a soloist with the choir, following in her maternal grandmother's footsteps.
Hudson also performed in talent shows and musical productions throughout grammar and high school, and her first professional gig was in a local production of the musical Big River, followed by a stint as a vocalist on a Disney cruise ship.
During the third season of the popular talent show American Idol, Hudson auditioned in Atlanta and made the final cut. She was voted through to the top six, but was voted off the show on April 21, 2004. However, as a finalist, she was part of the American Idol concert tour that year.
In 2005, she auditioned for the movie version of the Broadway hit Dreamgirls, competing against nearly 800 other actor/singers. Hudson won the role of Effie Melody White and began filming in January 2006 opposite Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Beyoncé and Danny Glover. That same year, she was named "Female Star of Tomorrow" at the ShoWest convention and was selected as one of the "10 Actors to Watch" for 2006 by Variety magazine.
Critics quickly picked Hudson as the standout performer in the film, predicting great things for the budding star. Their predictions came true as she won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress. She has gone on to complete roles in several other major motion pictures, including Sex and the City: The Movie (2008), playing Carrie's assistant. She also stars in the Farrelly Brothers' new feature film The Three Stooges (2012) and plays Nelson Mandela's wife in Winnie (2012).
Jennifer experienced tremendous tragedy in 2008 when her mother, brother and nephew were murdered by her estranged brother-in-law. In 2009 she gave birth to a son, David Daniel Otunga Jr., with her longtime boyfriend David Otunga. Shortly afterwards, she began the Weight Watchers diet plan, including working out four times a week and lost 80 pounds in a year. She then wrote a book about her weight loss experience called "I Got This : How I Changed My Ways, Found Myself, and Lost What Weighed Me Down."
In her spare time, Hudson enjoys writing songs and drawing.