Jennifer Hudson Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Jennifer Hudson is an American singer and actress born on September 12, 1981. Hudson has achieved a remarkable feat in the entertainment industry becoming the youngest woman and the third African-American ever to win all four major American awards: the Emmy Grammy Oscar and Tony (known as the EGOT) which she accomplished in 2022. Her star was added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013 and named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2020.

Hudson first gained attention in 2004 as a contestant on American Idol finishing seventh. She signed with Arista Records and released her first “Jennifer Hudson” album in 2008. It reached number two on the Billboard 200 chart and won Best R&B Album at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. Her film career took off with her role as Effie White in the movie Dreamgirls (2006) where she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress making her the youngest African-American to win in that category.

Her second and third albums “I Remember Me” (2011) and “JHUD” (2014) both achieved top ten status on the Billboard 200. In addition to music, Hudson has appeared in several films including Sex and the City (2008), The Secret Life of Bees (2008), Winnie Mandela (2011), and Cats (2019). She also appeared in TV shows like Smash (2012), Empire (2015), and Confirmation (2016). Hudson made her Broadway debut in 2015 in The Color Purple.

From 2017 to 2019, Hudson served as a coach on both the UK and US versions of The Voice becoming the first female coach to lead a winning team on the UK show. Since 2022 she has hosted her talk show called The Jennifer Hudson Show.

Full NameJennifer Kate Hudson
Date of BirthSeptember 12, 1981
Place of BirthChicago, Illinois, U.S.
OccupationSinger, Actress, Producer
Height5 ft 8 in (175 cm)
PartnersDavid Otunga (2008–2017)
ChildrenDavid Daniel Otunga Jr
Net Worth$30 million

Jennifer Hudson’s Early Life and Education

Jennifer Hudson Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Jennifer Hudson was born on September 12, 1981, in Chicago Illinois. She grew up with her mother Darnell Donerson and her brother Jason Hudson since her father Samuel Simpson who drove buses for Greyhound wasn’t around much. When Jennifer was 14 she went searching for her father and discovered he had 26 other children. She’s still getting to know some of her half-siblings.

Jennifer was raised Baptist in Englewood and went to Dunbar Vocational High School graduating in 1999. Her musical influences include Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, and Mariah Carey whom she considers a hero. She started singing in church at age 7 and did community theater with help from her grandmother Julia.

After briefly attending Langston University she left due to homesickness and weather concerns and later enrolled at Kennedy–King College. In 2002 she signed her first record deal with Righteous Records in Chicago but left the label in 2004 to compete on American Idol.


Jennifer Hudson Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Jennifer Hudson auditioned for American Idol Season 3 in Atlanta. Despite having experience singing on Disney Cruise Lines as a Muse from Hercules Randy Jackson told her they expected more than just a cruise ship performer. Hudson received the most votes in the “Top 9” after her rendition of Elton John’s “Circle of Life” on April 6, 2004. However, she was unexpectedly eliminated during the “Top 7” show after singing Barry Manilow’s “Weekend in New England”. Her departure was considered one of the most surprising in the show’s history.

In November 2005, Hudson landed the role of Effie White in the movie adaptation of Dreamgirls beating out many established singers and actresses. Her performance of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” garnered critical acclaim and won her numerous awards including a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Hudson signed with Arista Records in November 2006 and released her self-titled album featuring the song “Stand Up”. She continued her acting career with roles in films like Sex and the City and The Secret Life of Bees. She also recorded the song “One Shining Moment” for the 2010 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament.

In 2008, Hudson returned to the studio to record new songs for her debut album which included hits like “Spotlight” and “If This Isn’t Love”. Despite personal tragedies including the murder of three family members in 2008 Hudson persevered in her career and made a triumphant return performing at events like Super Bowl XLIII and appearing in the Christmas special “Jennifer Hudson: I’ll Be Home for Christmas”.

In 2010, Hudson became a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and underwent a significant weight loss transformation. She released her second studio album I Remember Me in 2011 which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart.

Jennifer Hudson took on a role as a nun in the movie “The Three Stooges” by the Farrelly brothers in 2012. Shortly after Whitney Houston passed away Hudson paid homage to her at the Grammy Awards in February 2012 by singing Houston’s famous song “I Will Always Love You.” She also appeared in several episodes of the TV series “Smash” during its second season.

Jennifer Hudson Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Jennifer Hudson performed “America the Beautiful” with the chorus from Sandy Hook Elementary School at Super Bowl XLVII. She also sang at the 85th Academy Awards in a tribute to musical films. At the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, she sang “Same Love” alongside Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert.

In 2013, Hudson released a new single titled “I Can’t Describe (The Way I Feel)” from her upcoming third album. This upbeat ballad features T.I. and was performed at the Soul Train Awards alongside Chaka Khan and Evelyn Champagne King. She starred in the films “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete” and “Black Nativity” and appeared in “Lullaby” with Amy Adams. Hudson was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Her third studio album “JHUD” came out in 2014 featuring a more lively sound compared to her earlier work. Collaborators included Timbaland Pharrell Williams RedOne and R. Kelly. Hudson’s song “It’s Your World” featuring R. Kelly was nominated for a Grammy Award.

In 2015 and 2016, Hudson starred in various roles including Broadway’s “The Color Purple” revival which earned her critical acclaim and a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. She also performed a tribute to Prince at the BET Awards in 2016.

Hudson signed with Epic Records in 2016 and took on roles in films like “Chi-Raq” and HBO’s “Confirmation.” She played Motormouth Maybelle in NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” and lent her voice to “Sing.”

From 2017 to 2020, Hudson was involved in projects like “Sandy Wexler” “The Voice” and the film adaptation of “Cats.” She also collaborated on the song “#SING4LIFE” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, Hudson portrayed Aretha Franklin in the film “Respect” which earned her several awards and nominations including a Golden Globe and a Grammy nomination. She won an EGOT (Emmy Grammy Oscar Tony) in 2022 and launched her talk show “The Jennifer Hudson Show.”

Net Worth

Jennifer Hudson has an estimated net worth of $30 Million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The main source of Jennifer Hudson’s net worth comes from her successful career in entertainment. This includes earnings from her work as a singer, actress, and spokesperson for various brands.

Personal life

Jennifer Hudson Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Jennifer Hudson started dating James Payton in 1999 when she was 18 years old. They broke up in late 2007. After that, she met David Otunga who is a wrestler in WWE and also a Harvard Law graduate. They got engaged in September 2008. Hudson gave birth to their son David Daniel Otunga Jr. in August 2009. However, Hudson and Otunga separated in November 2017.

On October 24, 2008, Jennifer Hudson’s mother Darnell Donerson who was 57 years old, and her brother Jason who was 29 were tragically shot and killed in their Chicago home. Her nephew Julian King who was 7 years old went missing prompting an AMBER Alert. Three days later Julian was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds on Chicago’s West Side.

William Balfour Julia’s estranged husband and Julian’s stepfather were charged with their murders and convicted on all counts. In July 2012 he received three life sentences without parole plus an additional 120 years for other charges. In response, Hudson’s family founded The Hudson-King Foundation for Families of Slain Victims in memory of the victims. They also created the Julian D. King Gift Foundation to provide support to needy families in Chicago.

Jennifer Hudson is known for her friendships with prominent figures like former President Barack Obama who invited her to a fundraiser in Beverly Hills during his first term in May 2009. She performed at the White House during the “Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement” event.

Since 2011, Hudson has lived in Burr Ridge Illinois a suburb of Chicago. In 2022, while working on the film “Breathe” Hudson started dating rapper and actor Common who is also from Chicago. They confirmed their relationship in January 2024 on “The Jennifer Hudson Show”. Common praised Hudson describing her as one of the most beautiful people he’s met noting her intelligence faith and down-to-earth personality.