13 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Following her impressive run on American Idol and her stunning performance in Dreamgirls, Jennifer’s Hudson’s debut album as a soloist is the final test to prove to the public that she is the real deal. Jennifer Hudson passes with flying colors. Music biz newcomers are often awkwardly assigned to trendy, disposable tracks, but Hudson’s debut is overseen by master hitmakers like Ne-Yo, T-Pain, and Polow Da Don, and her album displays a surprisingly high-quality and wide-ranging array of musical backgrounds. Hudson sounds wholly at home on bouncing club songs (“Spotlight”), soaring ballads (“If This Isn’t Love”), and hip-hop (“My Heart”). These producers could have easily saved these tracks for their personal projects, but it’s not hard to see why they wanted to work with Hudson. Her voice invigorates songs like “We Gon’ Fight” with the same guts and determination that won her the Oscar. Timbaland is used to making his protégés sound better, but his brilliant track for “Pocketbook” actually feeds on Hudson’s irrepressible energy instead of the other way around.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Following her impressive run on American Idol and her stunning performance in Dreamgirls, Jennifer’s Hudson’s debut album as a soloist is the final test to prove to the public that she is the real deal. Jennifer Hudson passes with flying colors. Music biz newcomers are often awkwardly assigned to trendy, disposable tracks, but Hudson’s debut is overseen by master hitmakers like Ne-Yo, T-Pain, and Polow Da Don, and her album displays a surprisingly high-quality and wide-ranging array of musical backgrounds. Hudson sounds wholly at home on bouncing club songs (“Spotlight”), soaring ballads (“If This Isn’t Love”), and hip-hop (“My Heart”). These producers could have easily saved these tracks for their personal projects, but it’s not hard to see why they wanted to work with Hudson. Her voice invigorates songs like “We Gon’ Fight” with the same guts and determination that won her the Oscar. Timbaland is used to making his protégés sound better, but his brilliant track for “Pocketbook” actually feeds on Hudson’s irrepressible energy instead of the other way around.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5

260 Ratings

260 Ratings

The Real Deal

J 2 DA C

American Idols Lost Our (MY) gain. Now who looks real bad Simon?

Happy to be the first!

Juicy Couture Dancer

I'm so happy to be the first to write a review. I haven't listened to the album yet but I just know its on firyah! Get it J-Hud...

The Star We Have Been Waitin For

luckyguy013

J. Hud's album is amazing. I just saw her on The View today and her album does exactly what she says it would. She describes herself as a tree with many arms to it. If you want to hear a truly versatile CD, you should buy this album. Jennifer is the next diva to enter our generation. Do not miss out because you'll be rockin to this for the next months to come.

About Jennifer Hudson

Chicago R&B singer and stage-and-screen actress Jennifer Hudson first broke into public consciousness in 2004 as a contestant on the third season of singing competition American Idol. She went on to become one of the most successful alumni from the show, releasing a string of Top Ten R&B albums and topping the charts with her 2008 hit single "Spotlight." In addition to singing, she also juggled a successful acting career, winning an Oscar for her role as Effie White in the 2006 film version of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls before starring in films like The Secret Life of Bees, Winnie Mandela, Chi-Raq, and Sing.

Born in 1981 in Chicago, Illinois, Hudson sang from a young age, first performing in her church. Various talent shows and school musical productions followed until she eventually secured a role in a local Chicago production of the musical Big River. Prior to American Idol, Hudson sang professionally while working on the Disney Wonder cruise ship, playing the part of one of the muses from the animated movie Hercules. In 2004, after auditioning for the show, she won a spot on the third season of American Idol along with eventual winner Fantasia Barrino. Though a strong contender and fan favorite from the start, Hudson was eventually voted off the show. Despite the loss, her big breakthrough came soon after when Hudson was cast as Effie White in Dreamgirls. Buoyed by the power of the song "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," she went on to receive not only critical acclaim for her performance, but both a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

With her star rising, she entered the studio to record her debut album. Featuring production by Stargate, Ne-Yo, and Missy Elliot, as well as guests like Ludacris, T-Pain, and Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson (Arista/J Records) debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. During promotion of the album, Hudson was suddenly sidelined by the shocking murders of her mother, brother, and nephew by her brother-in-law in late 2008. She returned to the spotlight early the next year, winning a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl, and touring with Robin Thicke.

In March 2011, Hudson delivered her second studio album, I Remember Me, a relatively upbeat release including the single "Where You At." The effort bowed in at number two and featured production by Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys, Ryan Tedder, Ne-Yo, and more. Meanwhile, Hudson continued to focus as much on her acting career as on music, appearing in a number of big-budget feature films including Sex & the City, The Secret Life of Bees, Winnie Mandela, The Three Stooges, and Lullaby. As a result, another three years passed between Hudson albums. Her third full-length, the groove-heavy JHUD (RCA Records), was released in September 2014. It debuted at number ten and featured the single "It's Your World," which was nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Performance.

Hudson continued acting, most notably in the 2015 Broadway revival of The Color Purple and, in 2016, the televised Hairspray Live! and the animated film Sing. In 2017, Hudson signed on as a coach for the sixth series of The Voice UK and released "Remember Me," her first single for Epic. The next year, she jumped to the U.S. version of The Voice, alongside fellow Idol alumna Kelly Clarkson. ~ Matt Collar & Neil Z. Yeung

HOMETOWN
Chicago, IL
BORN
September 12, 1981

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