From the streets of southside Chicago to the grand stage of the Oscars, Jennifer Hudson proved that with heart, hustle and humility, anything is possible! Check out this review and videos of her episode of “Behind the Music” on Vh1.
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.
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.”
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