JENNIFER HUDSON WINS THE OSCAR FOR DREAMGIRLS
And The Oscar Goes To: Dreamgirl Jennifer Hudson!!
JENNIFER HUDSON IN THE SPOTLIGHT WITH DREAMGIRLS
JENNIFER HUDSON AND JAMIE FOXX: DREAMGIRLS
Jennifer Hudson: Am I Am Telling You That I’m Not Going
“Every star under the sun is here. It don’t get no bigger than this,” said Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson.
From the Newswires:
“Former “American Idol” contestant Jennifer Hudson won the Oscar for best supporting actress on Sunday for her performance as the spurned lead singer of a female trio in “Dreamgirls.” Hudson’s showstopping singing and sympathetic character had made her the odds-on favorite to win the award. It was the 25-year-old’s first movie role, for which she also picked up Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild wins earlier this year.
“I didn’t think I was going to win. But wow,” Hudson said. She paid tribute to her grandmother “because she was a singer and she had the passion for it but she never had the chance and that was the thing that pushed me forward to continue.”
Just three years ago, she was singing on cruise ships, and her dreams of stardom appeared shattered when she finished seventh on the U.S. television talent show “American Idol” in 2004.
Later, however, she landed the role of Effie White, the hefty, headstrong singer in “Dreamgirls.” The movie tells the story of a group of a black female singers loosely based on the rise of pop stars Diana Ross and The Supremes. Hudson’s rendition of the emotional “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” in “Dreamgirls” drew standing ovations from some theater audiences.
From: Reuters, 2/25/2007
JENNIFER HUDSON’S OSCAR ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
Jennifer Hudson received her long-predicted Academy Award for her performance in Dreamgirls and delivered a tearful speech to a captivated audience:
“I have to take this moment in. I cannot believe this. Look what God can do! If my grandmother…I didn’t think I was going to win, but wow, if my grandmother was here to see me now. She was my biggest inspiration for everything, because she was a singer and she had the passion for it, but she never had the chance. And that was the thing that pushed me forward to continue.“
“But I’m so grateful to have my mother here celebrating with me. My boyfriend, my sisters and my brothers back home and I’ve got two of them here. Thank you all for being here and supporting me. I would so like to thank Bill Condon, our director. Oh my god, unbelievable cast. I’d like to thank the Academy, definitely have to thank God I guess again. I can’t believe this. Wow, I don’t know what to say, but I thank you all for helping me keep the faith. Even when I didn’t believe and God bless you all. Jennifer Holliday, too!”
AND BACKSTAGE INTERVIEWS
“American Idol” loser-turned-Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson has perfected the art of surviving backstage interviews. Responding to reporters’ questions after receiving her Oscar, Jennifer stated that she was honored just to have been nominated for her supporting role as Effie in “Dreamgirls.” While she felt disappointed that her co-star Eddie Murphy didn’t win, she stated that, “We’re all winners, just for being nominated.” An air of confidence permeated her backstage talk. She shut down reporters who asked about rumored on-set catfighting, and she was comfortable enough to discuss her new house in Chicago. “I’ll put my Oscar next to my Golden Globe, my SAG Award and my BAFTA Award,” she joked. But she’s not gotten too big to forget her roots back home. Hudson expressed thanks for “Idol” and said she plans to continue singing in her church choir in Chicago. “It’s my reality. It keeps me grounded,” she said. Hudson believes that she has her grandmother’s voice. Her grandmother never performed professionally, instead choosing to lead more than 100 solo performances in the church choir. “It’s my duty and goal to do this for her,” Hudson said. “It’s my goal for the world to hear her voice.” And the world is hearing it now.
JENNIFER HUDSON: A REAL-LIFE CINDERELLA STORY
Four years ago, Chicagoan Jennifer Hudson finished seventh among 70,000 hopefuls in the third season of “American Idol.” Unceremoniously dumped from the program at a point when many thought that she was highly favored to win, many were convinced that her dismissal from the show was because some people didn’t think that she was attractive enough.
Who would have expected what has happened to her this year. Hudson suddenly began receiving excited Oscar support from film critics and devoted motion picture audience members from all over the country for her film debut in “Dreamgirls.” And tonight, she was awarded the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Effie White in Dreamgirls. Hudson, who is only 25, sparkles in a cast that includes Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles and Eddie Murphy. She has an unusual mastery of urban gospel in her voice, a clarity and sense of “truth” that she brings to the character of Effie White in the movie that is based upon the story of the Supremes. Ironically, the original Tony Award-winning version of the stage musical was based in Chicago, although the film version is set in Detroit.
Hudson’s riveting five-octave performance of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” is her big moment in the film. Some have said that it is the big moment of the film, period. It belongs to her like the stars belong to the sky. Effie stands tall with dignity after being cast aside by her manager/boyfriend (Foxx) in an unforgettable scene that was filmed over four days on a Los Angeles soundstage. Hudson’s thrilling performance of that song prompted excited talk early on about her being a frontrunner in the competition to receive an Academy Awards Oscar for the Best Supporting Actress performance, especially since Academy members always love a musical.
The rags-to-riches parallels between “American Idol” and “Dreamgirls” are clear. Even Elton John thought Hudson was robbed of the grand “American Idol” prize, saying she was the “best of the lot.” After Hudson got the boot, “American Idol” host Simon Cowell snarled at her, “You get one shot, and the runner-ups; you ain’t never gonna be seen again.” In a recent interview, Jennifer stated, “I’ve had a similar journey as Effie.” “Me being a part of ‘Idol,’ her being part of the group. I was kicked off the talent show. She was the founder and lead singer of the group [The Dreamettes] and kicked off to the background. We both go through our journeys, trying to hold on to our dream and achieve our goal. We have hardships but we prevail at the end.”
Jennifer’s father, Samuel Simpson, died some time ago, but her mother Darnell Hudson still lives in Chicago’s Southside Englewood neighborhood. Hudson’s older brother Jason is a mechanic, and her older sister Julia is a school bus driver. Every time she sings, Hudson thinks of her late grandmother Julia Kate Hudson, who sang at The Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church at 4526 S. Greenwood Street on Chicago’s Southside, where Hudson got her start. Her grandmother died in 1998. “To build my emotions, I thought of her,” Hudson said. “Like, ‘What if she could see me now?’ She used to sing ‘How Great Thou Art.’ I have a recording of Mahalia Jackson singing that on my iPod. I’d listen to it before a song. There was one point they had to stop the cameras, because it was too emotional.”
“I never had any voice training,” she continued. “I started in the soprano section of the choir.” Her first solo was “Must Jesus Bare The Cross Alone.” Hudson later sang at Dunbar Vocational High School, which in the past produced music greats like Lou Rawls and Cleotha and Pervis Staples of the Staple Singers. How will Hudson stay grounded through her rapid ascent? “It could have been anybody,” she said. “Millions didn’t make it, but I was one that did. I’m grateful. And I realize Chicago is my home and my reality. I come home and I have to stand in line like everybody else. I love the moment of Hollywood, but you need that reality to smack you in the face.” Yes, she still sounds very much like a Chicagoan.
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