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Jennifer Hudson/Robin Thicke In Atlanta

In the four years since she was first introduced to us as a finalist on “American Idol,” Jennifer Hudson’s ascent has been so meteoric that her accolades almost seem to have preceded her actual accomplishments.

She does one movie (“Dreamgirls”) — and wins an Oscar.

She records one CD (“Jennifer Hudson”), with only one hit single at that point — and wins a Grammy.

Well, if skeptics were thinking that the movie and music industries had made 27-year-old Hudson a star before she really earned it, all they had to see was one show: Last night’s concert at the Fox Theatre.

Hudson is a wonder. And not just because it is remarkable that she is out in front of audiences mere months after her mother, brother and nephew were killed. 

But because on the first night of her two-night stand in Atlanta  - the second show being Thursday- this relative newcomer arrived with an ease with the audience that never let on that this is her first tour ever. She has a command of not only her own rather ordinary R&B material, but such greats as Aretha Franklin’s (“Something He Can Feel”), Chaka Khan’s (“Sweet Thing”) and Whitney Houston’s (“You Give Good Love”). And most spectacularly, every song she sang seemed to effortlessly emanate from this much older, wiser core layered with gospel heft and Broadway delivery.  

Hudson wasn’t much about on-stage banter during her near hour-long set. But it was clear from the standing ovation the ever-slimmer talent got before her first song (“One Night Only” from “Dreamgirls”) to her bare-footed encore (of course, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” also from “Dreamgirls”) that she connected with the three-fourths full theater.

As for opener Robin Thicke — whose made three Atlanta appearances since the release of his latest CD “Something Else” — it was more of a disjointed affair. His musical pacing was off, as if he had to rush through his hour. Though he is three albums into his career and much more of an established live performer, he seemed a bit less comfortable; striking statue-like poses at the microphone and taking his leather jacket off, and on, and back off again. And with the exception of his breakthrough hit “Lost Without You,” he drew the biggest reactions — and best displayed that he could do something vocally other than a nice, fluttery falsetto — from the DeBarge (“All This Love”), Al Green (“Let’s Stay Together”) and Jodeci (“Come & Talk To Me”) covers.

Planning to go to Thursday’s show? Did you see Hudson at her more intimate “V-103 Soul Session” at Sugar Hill last year? Were you there last night – and if so what did you think?

40 comments Add your comment

jc

April 15th, 2009
12:02 pm

SHE DID EARN THE OSCAR. ARE YOU JEALOUS AJC? ARE YOU JUST USE TO SEEING COMMONE PEOPLE OR COMMON THINGS HAPPENING BUT WHEN THE REAL THING SHOWS UP YOU HAVE DOUBTS.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO MANY MOVIES TO EARN AN OSCAR SOME PEOPLE ARE BORN WITH GENUINE AND TRUE TALENT AND JENNIFER HUDSON IS JUST BORN WITH IT.
I AM SO GLAD THAT I AM NOT AN EDITOR OR NEWSPAPER WRITER BECAUSE ALL THEY DO IS STIR UP STRIFE, CONFUSION, NEGATIVITY, AND MOST OF ALL GOSSIP.
ONLY ETHICAL PUBLISHING COMPANIES WITH GOOD MOTIVES WILL PROSPER.

BARBARA DUMAS

April 15th, 2009
12:10 pm

I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN AT THE CONCERT LAST NIGHT AND JENNIFER HUDSON WAS PHENOMINAL. SHE PERFORMED LIKE A TRUE VETERAN AND A TRUE DIVA. HER STAGE PRESENCE WAS AWESONE AND SHE LOOKED FANTASTIC
SHE SANG MOST OF MY FAVORITE SONGS FROM THE CD WHICH I KEEP ONE IN MY CAR AND ONE IN MY HOUSE. JENNIFER IS A TRUE STAR AND HUMBLE IN SPITE ALL OF HER BLESSINGS.I WISH ONLY THE BEST FOR HER.

Al

April 15th, 2009
12:15 pm

She was brilliant! Absoultely amazing. A very rare talent. She’s proving that she deserves every accolade bestowed on her. The Theater was more like 85% full. The crowd loved her… and she connected as evidenced by the minutes long, wild standing ovation that prompted her to don an encore. Robin Thicke was cool. I want to go back Thursday night too to see Jennifer Hudson perform again. She’s going to be around for a very, very long time.

Rich S

April 15th, 2009
12:28 pm

I saw it. I was given a ticket and it was a complete bore. I knew it would be. She sings one good song and it’s not even her own. Robin Thicke is also terrible. I’m so glad I didn’t have to pay, I would have asked for a refund.

truthfully

April 15th, 2009
12:30 pm

JC.. I think you misunderstood.. Sonia said “if skeptics were thinking that the movie and music industries had made 27-year-old Hudson a star before she really earned it, all they had to see was one show”: Last night’s concert at the Fox Theatre. MEANING… they were wrong… This is clearly saying she deserved her awards… I’ll be the FIRST to admit I dont’ agree with a lot of the AJC blogs.. But this..i correct. JHud is doin it to the fullest, and AJC appears to be in full support.. Now Robin T on the other hand.. he got the bad side of this review…

Heaven

April 15th, 2009
12:32 pm

I AGREE WITH JC – JENNIFER EARNED EVERY AWARD SHE’S GOT! STOP HATIN ON HER AJC!

The1

April 15th, 2009
12:37 pm

First of all, Robin Thicke was not an opener… It was a co-headline, so wtf? Robin’s performance was great and I appreciated that the majority of what he sang was actually HIS OWN MATERIAL which is something that could not be said for Jennifer. Her performance was great also but if I wanted to hear renditions of other people’s songs and Dreamgirls, I could have stayed at home and popped in some old CDs as well as the Dreamgirls DVD… 70% of what she performed was either a cover or something from Dreamgirls… Hello? You have a grammy winning album; why the HELL aren’t u performing songs from it?!!!

LEA

April 15th, 2009
12:56 pm

awhh I see the robin thicke fan are mad, that j hud is getting great reviews evert EVERY SHOW and everyone is loving her .I can’t wait to see her tomorrow.. Could care less about Robin. I had to sit through him at beyonce’s show as well.. Almost fell asleep.. But Yes Jennifer deserves everything she gets so proud of her..

The1

April 15th, 2009
1:06 pm

No one is mad that Jhud is getting great reviews… She did well performing other people’s songs. I haven’t heard one Thicke fan say she was horrible… so once again, wtf?

Harmony372

April 15th, 2009
1:16 pm

I agree, this is a rather negative slant of both artists and the talents they displayed last night at the Fox. Re: Jennifer, there have been many more “artists” who received greater attention with FAR less talent (Britney, Lindsey, dare I say….Beyonce?!?!). Jennifer has paid her dues (long before Idol) and is reaping the rewards of her work and talent. This may be her “first tour” (it isn’t…just her first headliner) but she’s been on enough stages (cruise ships, churches, Idol, Oscars, Grammys, need I go on?) that I wouldn’t expect her to get onstage and NOT know how to work an audience. Give the woman some respect! She is a phenomenal talent…I’ve admired her since she was on Idol, but last night she gained a whole new level of respect from me with her vocal ability (there’s nothing like hearing it LIVE).

As for Robin Thicke, are you crazy? I didn’t even come with very high expectations for his show and I thought his performance was AWESOME! I like his music, but I’m not a huge fan….I expected to be bored beyond hearing “Lost without You”, RT impressed me QUICK. He’s a good showman. He only put the jacket on ONE TIME then removed it. He’s a guy…can’t he be allowed ONE “wardrobe change”? But back to his performance, Robin Thicke put on a terrific show…I’m not a girl who swoons much at concerts (well, except for New Edition) but I repeatedly found myself thinking how Paula Patton sure is a LUCKY & HAPPY woman at home! ;-)

LEA

April 15th, 2009
1:18 pm

Awhh The1 you proved my point. one thing I DO NOT do is go back and fourth with people on the net that is super lame…

SexyCool

April 15th, 2009
1:32 pm

I was at the show last night. I enjoyed it. It was my second time seeing Robin. I thought he gave a solid performance. While I am strong J Hud supporter and I believe that she is an awesome talent, I was not left in awe of her performance.

I am delighted that I had the opportunity to see her in concert. I look forward to her continued development as a live concert artist and will see her again.

That is all.

Greg

April 15th, 2009
1:42 pm

I will be working the event tomorrow night and cannot wait

Why???

April 15th, 2009
1:58 pm

Darn??? This is such a mix of responses that I am anxious and almost slightly sad about tomorrow’s performance. I am taking my sister as a B’Day gift to her. Personally, I have all 3 of RT’s CDs and expect him to be a cool, laid-back performer. I am not expecting him to belt out notes for days because that is not his style. I expect him to perform very much like Kem. For JHud, yikes….I really like her album and am hoping that she will sing several songs from it. If she doesn’t, I will admit that I will be disappointed. She has too much talent to base a show off of other songs!!! Will report back on Friday!!!

LJ

April 15th, 2009
2:03 pm

@JC and Heaven,

I think you two should go back and re-read what was written:

“Well, if skeptics were thinking that the movie and music industries had made 27-year-old Hudson a star before she really earned it, all they had to see was one show: Last night’s concert at the Fox Theatre.”

The writer of the article is clearly being complimentary to J-Hud, basically saying that if there were any skeptics out there, all they had to do was watch last night’s show to realize that she’s the real deal.

Harmony372

April 15th, 2009
2:51 pm

@Why??? don’t be sad, if you like both artists, you will genuinely enjoy the concert. RT gave a good mix, laidback at the piano at times, upbeat and hip at times, crooning to the ladies at times. As for JHud, I think she gave a decent mix…I expected her to perform the hits from Dreamgirls…that’s what put her “on the map”, duh. But she also did 4 songs from her album, granted they’re all the songs you’ve heard on the radio/TV with one exception, Pocketbook (which I love and secretly hoped there would be a “surprise” ATL appearance by Ludacris…but no). Granted, she added a few covers, but she doesn’t have DEPTH in her own material to play an hour-long set of JUST her music. Heck, Robin is on his 3rd album and he still did a couple of covers…as I’ve seen MANY artists do in concert, including PRINCE and we know he doesn’t lack original material.

Just go and enjoy yourself….don’t let the haters spoil it!

[...] -My colleague Sonia Murray wrote about Jennifer Hudson last night at the Fox. She returns on Thursday as well with Robin Thicke. She has a command of not only her own rather ordinary R&B material, but such greats as Aretha Franklin’s (“Something He Can Feel”), Chaka Khan’s (“Sweet Thing”) and Whitney Houston’s (“You Give Good Love”). And most spectacularly, every song she sang seemed to emanate from this much older, wiser core layered with gospel heft and Broadway delivery. [...]

Response to Why???

April 15th, 2009
3:24 pm

To ‘Why”??? – Don’t be sad. I sat in Row D. You will have a fantastic time. Harmony 372 said it best. You will never please everybody… I think you have the right expectations. You’ll soon find that hearing Jennifer Hudson recorded doesn’t due her voice or her talent any justice. It’s a great concert. Expect to have a good time… You certainly will!!!

RJ

April 15th, 2009
4:27 pm

Saw the show last night and really enjoyed both performances. The article above does no justice for R.Thicke’s performance as he was AMAZING. He was full of energy and he sounds great live, surprisingly. And yes he only took took his jacket off and on once, so the article above is exagerated! JHUD, you already know that she can sing, so you have nothing to lose there either. Check it out if you can!

LEA

April 15th, 2009
4:33 pm

but honestly people who really cares what anyone thinks about jennifer hudson or robin thicke their opinions really don’t matter lol.. Either you go to the show and will love what they do or you wont.. Not everyone is going to love either artist.. And I’m sure they know that.. You can’t please EVERYBODY…

Rich

April 15th, 2009
4:45 pm

I think she sounds like a goat and looks like a hippo.

Mrs G

April 15th, 2009
5:37 pm

Sonia Murray… Obviously you weren’t at the same show I was at last night… Robin Thicke did a wonderful job, he worked the stage with ease… Jennifer Hudson as beautiful voice as she has, does not know how to work stage (almost kept falling over her feet) or the sound guys, cause when she talked you could hardly if at all hear anything she said… The only real dissapointment I had was the acustics are terrible in the Fox Theatre..Over all the concert was good.

nikki

April 15th, 2009
5:55 pm

Jennifer was simply fab! I enjoyed the show and radiated all day. I think that Robin performed nicely as well. It is great to see Jennifer, truly she is a strong spirit. I do believe that she will have many years in this industry.

[...] -My colleague Sonia Murray wrote about Jennifer Hudson last night at the Fox. She returns on Thursday as well with Robin Thicke. She has a command of not only her own rather ordinary R&B material, but such greats as Aretha Franklin’s (“Something He Can Feel”), Chaka Khan’s (“Sweet Thing”) and Whitney Houston’s (“You Give Good Love”). And most spectacularly, every song she sang seemed to emanate from this much older, wiser core layered with gospel heft and Broadway delivery. [...]

DivaGLAM

April 15th, 2009
8:33 pm

I am never shocked when Sonia Murray writes a review…
Unless it is Michelle Ndegeocello she won’t like it.
Unless they are singing to ‘her’

Clarence White

April 15th, 2009
10:19 pm

The concert was great and I thought both artists performed well. My only disappointment was the concert put on by Jennifer Hudson was not long enough.

Harmony372

April 16th, 2009
3:13 am

A correction to my earlier post, JHud actually performed 7 (of the 13 total) songs on her album at the concert.

[...] Jennifer Hudson/Robin Thicke In AtlantaAtlanta Journal Constitution,  USAIn the four years since she was first introduced to us as a finalist on “American Idol,” Jennifer Hudson’s ascent has been so meteoric that her accolades almost seem to have preceded her actual accomplishments. She does one movie (“Dreamgirls”) — and … [...]

Jennifer Hudson | DependMedia.com

April 16th, 2009
6:57 am

[...] highlighted by the return of former-contestant-turned-Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson. … Jennifer Hudson/Robin Thicke In Atlanta Atlanta Journal Constitution In the four years since she was first introduced to us as a finalist [...]

AW

April 16th, 2009
7:09 am

Thank you LJ.

I concur JC and Heaven go back and RE-READ the article. Whew!

Often Disappointed/Never Surprised!

April 16th, 2009
9:18 am

Did no attend the concert but I do have an opinion. Ms. Hudson is to be commceded fro her recent success, this goes without saying. However, I don’t believe the Oscar was deserving. Her role in Dream Girls was not that captivating. In fact, her performance did not out shine Beyonce’s role. Granted, Beyonce did not have an Oscar winning performance either. Let us get back to the days when real talent won out.
Nevermind the artists who pull at the heart strings of the American public. Besides, I guess Halle deserved an award for Monster’s Ball? What about Denzel for Training Day? Surely these two artists had produced better pieces of work than these two movies. Finally, anything opinion-driven will always have detractors. I love music and I love movies. Enough with the subjectivity. Even Wierd Al won a grammy or two!

AJ

April 16th, 2009
10:46 am

I am going to the show tonight and I am looking forward to hearing from both artist. I love Jennifer Hudson and I know she will put on a fabulous show at the Fox

[...] weeks ago, and Hudson herself is currently on tour. Judging by a review from a writer with the Atlanta Journal Constitution posted on Wednesday, the tour is going well. “Hudson is a wonder,” the reviewer wrote. [...]

Felicia

April 17th, 2009
1:18 am

Just returned from the Thursday night show and I had a fantastic time. I’m not a Robin Thicke fan (I only knew Lost Without You), but his portion of the concert was very entertaining. As for Jennifer Hudson’s portion of the concert it was phenomenal. She commanded the stage. Her voice was amazing. And in addition to the joy of hearing Jennifer sing, she was joined by Fantasia on Pocketbook and by Jennifer Holiday on And I am Telling You. I left very happy and satisfied that I got my money’s worth and more.

AI3

April 17th, 2009
8:27 am

Jennifer was AMAZING!! Robin was okay, but he definetly did not command the crowd like JHud! Jennifer Holliday being there made my night and Fantasia being there made my WEEK!!! Bravo to Jennifer. My only wish is that she was on tour, co-headlining with Fantasia!!!! Ahhh…A guy can dream.

Why???

April 17th, 2009
9:51 am

Okay…I made a comment last night after the show and AJC didn’t post it. So, here we go again…I just returned home from the concert and can’t go to sleep. Can I just say, where is the offering plate?? The concert was EXCELLENT!!! Our section was ready to give an offering. LOL First, DJ Nab entertained us for about 20 minutes with a variety of music to warm us up. Then, RT came on and turned it up a notch! I thoroughly enjoyed his performance. As I stated earlier, I didn’t expect him to belt out notes for days but he has some great songs and you can tell that he has a passion for what he is doing. He did perform other songs from artists and they were a great compliment to his show. Finally, JHud came out and blew the roof off the Fox. Her voice is so powerful and clear that it is crazy!!! I do agree that her CDs do her no justice. The young lady was incredible. Then, Fantasia joined her on their duet of “I’m His Only Woman” (not Pocketbook) and the crowd went wild!!! Fantasia wore a very cute white short outfit and looked amazing. Then to close the show, Jennfier Holiday joined her on “And I Am Telling You”. The two did a little battle on the encore and it was wonderful!!!!!!!!!! My only negative comment was that it was hard to hear the performers when they were talking. The acoustics were great when they were singing but garbeled when they were talking. Overall, an amazing show.

Why???

April 17th, 2009
9:54 am

AI3 ~ I completely agree with wanting to see Jennifer and Fantasia in concert. I would love to see them do a Soul Sister Tour with them and some old school girls like Patti, Chaka, or Whitney. Or a Soul Sister Idol Tour of Jennifer, Fantasia, LaToya, and Lil! Women who can really sing!!!! LOL

JRF

April 17th, 2009
2:28 pm

I was at the Concert on Tuesday night…ROBIN THICKE was GREAT!!!!! He is a really laid back performer and his band is GREAT…I love the drummer(LB)…Robin really made the night. Jennifer was a disappointment…her vocals were strong but her stage presence and performance was HORRIBLE….she didn’t even have a nice SET for stage. She needs a new wardrobe stylist..it is no way that she should have had on an outfit that was the same or very similar to the one that she wore on Oprah when she performed her hit If This Is Love…also the next night she appeared on American Idol with the same outfit on….NO WAY a grammy/oscar award winning diva should wear the same outfit 3 times…just horrible!!! She needs to step her game up before she hits the road on another tour!!

Why???

April 17th, 2009
6:16 pm

JRF ~ The comment about her wardrobe is too true. I told my sister about this outfit she had been wearing and I was like…if she was this tonight, I am going to wonder if she is wearing this outfit for a reason????

Why???

April 22nd, 2009
5:12 pm

JRF~ Guess what I heard today??? I heard that JHud is preggo! I guess that explains the outfit. LOL