accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Jennifer Hudson’s VH1 ‘Behind the Music’

jennifer_hudson

VH1 on Monday aired the Jennifer Hudson “Behind The Music,” in which she talked extensively about her family tragedy in 2008. Her ups and downs make for an ideal special.

She grew up in a close family in Chicago. Her grandmother encouraged her to sing and friend Walter Williams helped manage her in her teens. She spent a year on a Disney cruise. She then traveled to Atlanta in 2003 for season three auditions of “Idol.”

The network cleared extensive “Idol” footage of her time there, including a good portion of her first audition.

“She just had natural God given raw talent,” said Randy Jackson on the special. “She was just starting to get in the zone and figuring out who she is.”

I recall in 2004 watching her amazing performance of Barry Manilow’s “Weekend in New England.” It was my favorite from her that season. Yet she got eliminated the next day. “We were all shocked,” Randy said on the special. “Sometimes the public doesn’t get it right away.”

Interestingly, tornadoes knocked out phone service in parts of Chicago that night. That might have hurt her vote count.

After the “Idols Live” tour in 2004, nothing happened for Jennifer. I remember seeing her in the spring of 2005 at the Gwinnett Place mall promoting “Idol” with Nikko Smith and Jessica Sierra. She seemed a bit morose over her lack of anything happening. A few months later, she landed that role in “Dreamgirls” and her life hit new heights.

After the film was released, Hudson was the talk of the town. She took home more than 30 awards, including the Golden Globe and the Oscar.

Clive Davis said he wasn’t interested in Hudson after “Idol’ but signed her after “Dreamgirls.” She worked with Atlanta’s Ne-Yo and garnered a hit “Spotlight.” (That spring, I almost met Hudson at a downtown nightclub for a V-103 promotional concert but got into an argument with the publicist over questioning ground rules and she booted me out of the green room before Jennifer arrived. Fun times!) She nabbed two more films: “Sex and the City” and “Secret Life of Bees.”

David Otunga, a hunky reality show contestant, met her about that time, and they became quickly attached. In 2008, she sang for Obama at the Democratic convention.

Life was good — until October 24, 2008.

That’s the day her mother, nephew and brother were murdered. “It was surreal. It was like I was outside of myself,” she said. For two months, she stayed sequestered in her home, with the press bearing down. “I was secluded from everything going on. I didn’t watch any TV. I didn’t even know what was going on. I had enough to deal with.”

She reappeared at the Grammy’s, where she won best R&B album, receiving it from Whitney Houston. “I can’t put into words how special a moment that was for me,” she said. “If there was anything to lift me up, that was it.” She then sang a song that took greater meaning, “You Pulled Me Through.” It was incredibly dramatic and emotional.

“I could hear my brother in my head saying, ‘You need to kill this,’ ” she said.

Soon after, she became pregnant and had a baby son in August. VH1 films her at a modeling shoot, where she gives her son much love. “Jennifer Hudson,” said Jamie Foxx, “with all she’s gone through, the good, the great, the tragic, no matter what happens to her, you can’t take the talent away from her.”

Here are the “Idol” related clips:

VH1 TV Shows | Music Videos | Celebrity Photos | News & Gossip

VH1 TV Shows | Music Videos | Celebrity Photos | News & Gossip

27 comments Add your comment

Rickster

June 29th, 2010
10:43 am

I think there’s an argument that can be made that JHud could be the most versatile AI alum ever.

Rickster

June 29th, 2010
10:43 am

And …. (the obligatory) First! :-)

Woodpappy

June 29th, 2010
10:43 am

Surely I’m not first? Thanks Rodney for the info on J. Hudson.

Woodpappy

June 29th, 2010
10:45 am

Dang Rickster you clicked a nanno second before I did !

Rickster

June 29th, 2010
10:55 am

Note to Rodney…. next time you get a chance to interview JHud, agree to whatever the publicist says, and then pull a Mike Wallace on her!

Rickster

June 29th, 2010
10:56 am

You’re not first Woodpappy… and don’t call me Shirley. :-)

wreckedpizza

June 29th, 2010
11:01 am

Thanks for the JHud update, Mr. Ho. Hope she continues to have great success.

Rickster-no insomnia for me. I’m a 3rd-shifter so that is prime time for me!

[...] the original post here: Jennifer Hudson’s VH1 ‘Behind the Music’ [...]

Deirdre

June 29th, 2010
11:49 am

Mr Ho! Who’s that? ;-)

Rodney, JHud stands alone in non-Idol winner accomplishments. She is a talented lady and seems to have found herself amidst triumph and tragedy.

Mercedes S.

June 29th, 2010
12:08 pm

Thanks for story and clips, Rodney.

“Sometimes the public doesn’t get it right away” (Randy) – the AI public SELDOM gets it.

Denyse

June 29th, 2010
12:33 pm

Jennifer Hudson is so very talented — and her strength through the trials and losses in her life have truly been inspiring. I think maybe the AI public were only looking at JHud’s exterior — and perhaps they couldn’t see past her weight at the time. . . **BUT LOOK AT HER NOW!!!** She dropped the lbs. and now she **LOOKS** as great as she sounds!!! My best wishes to her in all of her future endeavors.

Mercedes S.

June 29th, 2010
1:13 pm

Yes to Rickster’s 10:55 am post – better ask for forgiveness than permission

kelly&carriefan

June 29th, 2010
1:15 pm

I watched her on Idol and yes, she was really talented. There is no denying it. However, she didn’t come across as humble or perhaps girl-next-door approachable as the likes of Fantasia and even Latoya London. IMO, I think that’s probably what harmed her on the show. Especially back then, when the audience had the fantasy of seeing their cousin/best friend make it good.

But to her credit, she’s moved above and beyond Idol. I wish her nothing but success.

Rodney, I recall that whole incident. Oy. It’s been that long?! :shock:

Trina

June 29th, 2010
1:36 pm

Did this already come on, if so will it reair?

Deirdre

June 29th, 2010
2:07 pm

The video about JHud on Idol and her elimination was fascinating. I do not remember that her main fanbase, located in the Chicago area, could not vote because of storms knocking down power and telephone lines. Has anyone pointed this out to Elton?

Also, I agree with k&cf…I think her attitude, which was far from humble at the time, worked against her.

Add to that, I hated her version of Weekend in New England. It’s a lovely song that she took so far over the top that I almost completely lost the melody.

I think Jennifer is an excellent singer, a lovely person and her Oscar was much deserved. However, I do not think she should have stayed on Idol much longer than she did.

JTesla

June 29th, 2010
3:09 pm

Hey jp, you got beat a lot as a kid didn’t you? It’s ok, someday you will find someone who will love you.

jp

June 29th, 2010
3:13 pm

nope, grew up in a well established home. me speaking the truth must hurt, i figured that would happen to people who have no life and want to live through others.

jp

June 29th, 2010
3:16 pm

i thought nancy grace already did this person’s BTM when she did a year long spotlight on her family getting killed. hudson has done nothing special and has only been around for a few years. where is jay-z’s BTM special? that guy has actually sold more than 100 albums.

Deirdre

June 29th, 2010
3:39 pm

jp, you have a right to your opinion. I wasn’t a big JHud fan but really like her voice now and was very impressed with her Oscar winning performance in Dreamgirls. So, she kinda HAS done something to merit a BTM.

Rickster

June 29th, 2010
3:44 pm

jp… J Hud did well on Idol, she won an OSCAR and she’s overcome though more adversity in the last 16 months than most people endure in a lifetime.

What have you done that’s so wonderful?

JTesla

June 29th, 2010
3:52 pm

“i figured that would happen to people who have no life and want to live through others”

Well one out of two isn’t bad. When this was first announced I questioned what she had done to merit this type of program. I’m not a fan of hers, and she’s always been a bit too snobbish for me, but your thought of speaking the truth is a joke. There is more wrong than truth in what you said.

kelly&carriefan

June 29th, 2010
4:31 pm

JT, you’re still hanging around? I would’ve figured with Tesla’s IPO, you’d be out celebrating today! ;)

Rickster

June 29th, 2010
5:10 pm

Have a good evening, everybody!

JTesla

June 29th, 2010
5:45 pm

As soon as they kick me down a car, I’ll be celebrating.

John

June 29th, 2010
8:25 pm

JP…..I read blogs daily just to see who is eligible for the idiot award. Seems like you are today’s winner.

norma

June 29th, 2010
10:26 pm

Rickster: No argument baby! Jennifer Hudson is the best female vocalist in the business today hands down. Jhud said it best when she said her voice is a tree with many branches. The young tripple threat super star is a class act. Jennifer is both incredible and amazing as a person and a artist. One of the most humble and grounded young lady in the industry. I love her warm spirit.

LEA

June 30th, 2010
7:45 pm

I knew the “haters” on here would tune in, Jennifer is far from snobbish, u just say that because she didn’t kiss the judges behinds like some of the other contestants did. She is confident as she should be. But her NOT winning doesn’t even matter. She’s the biggest star to come out of idol. While you guys will continue to argue about what YOU think she doesnt’ deserve… have fun with it, adn she continues to accomplish even more, and u guys will STAY MAD..