The beautiful and amazingly talented Jennifer Hudson has been wowing audiences with her voice since she first showed up on our television sets as a hopeful contestant on American Idol back in 2004. Although she didn’t take home the title, this became a launching point for the rest of her career. She has gone on to experience so much more like a role in the critically acclaimed film adaptation of Dreamgirls, Sex and the City, The Secret Life of Bees, the list goes on and on, and on top of it all, she’s earned an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and even a Grammy Award for her debut album! Jennifer Hudson is showing no signs of slowing down. She’s become a business mogul, singer, actress and now spokesperson…we’re pretty sure she does it all! Although she lives her life in the spotlight, Jennifer likes to remain private. But in honor of her 35th birthday, we’ve dug up a few things you probably didn’t know about Jennifer Hudson.
8. Growing Up
Born in 1981, Jennifer Kate Hudson grew up in the South Side of Chicago as the youngest of three children to her parents Darnell Donnerson and Samuel Simpson. Her father, who is now deceased, was a bus driver, while her brother Jason was a mechanic and her sister Julia works as a bus driver. She graduated from Dunbar Vocational Career Academy and attended Langston University, but dropped out because of homesickness and a general dislike of the weather. She later enrolled at Kennedy-King College. Growing up, singing has always been apart of her life. At the age of 7 she was singing in the Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church Choir. When she got into her teenage years, she started working at a local Burger King to make money for school. Her first on-stage performance was starring as the muse Calliope in Hercules – A Muse-ical Comedy aboard the Disney Wonder Cruise ship. She used her experience there as a practicing platform for the reality competition show, American Idol. “I said, ‘if I can get through the ship, that means I’m cut out for Idol,’ she said in an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune.