Some people are born with a presence that makes them stand out from the crowd.
From the second Jennifer Hudson of Chicago, Illinois, stepped onto the “American Idol” audition stage, we could feel that star power burning brightly within her. When we heard her voice, it became clear that she was going places — like Hollywood, to start!
Hudson was just 21 years old when she got her first taste of stardom on season three of the talent competition back in 2004. Fresh off a stint as a performer on a Disney cruise, she came prepared to blow the judges away with her giant voice and vibrant personality. Judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell had no idea what was about to hit them!
The rising musician chose to sing “Share Your Love With Me” by Aretha Franklin, and of course, she nailed it.
the #1 good news email read by 700K+ people.
“Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. The best singer I’ve heard so far,” Jackson said.
With three “yes” votes in her pocket, Hudson was on her way to the next round of the competition. She eventually finished in seventh place, an outcome that caused outrage among “Idol” fans nationwide. Fantasia Barrino went on to win that season, but it wasn’t long before Hudson’s star eclipsed them all.
Just one year later, she fought thousands of hopeful contestants for the role of Effie White in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls.” She won the part and completely stole the show, eventually earning a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe and an Academy Award!
This was just the beginning of her critical acclaim. She went on to win a Grammy in 2008 for her debut album. She then took her talents to the Broadway stage, starring in the revival of “The Color Purple” and other popular shows. She also became a spokesperson for Weight Watchers for a time and wrote a book about her health journey.
These days, J-Hud is a household name. It feels like she’s always been a part of American culture, but in actuality, she exploded onto the scene in her usual spotlight-stealing way!
Watch the audition that introduced the world to Jennifer Hudson in the video below, and don’t forget to share this amazing celebrity origin story.
Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.