Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” Wins 2013 VMA Award

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” Wins 2013 VMA Award

Same Love won Best Video with A Social Message at the 2013 Video Music Awards. Same Love, by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, was the perfect anthem for DOMA’s defeat. The equality anthem took society (and hip-hop music) to task for their homophobic stances. The song became the unofficial anthem for the Referendum 74 campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington (a measure that passed in November), a genuine Top 40 hit on radio and then witnessed history when the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” Wins 2013 VMA Award

 

Hudson Family Murder Trial Begins: Jennifer Hudson Breaks Down on the Stand

Hudson Family Murder Trial Begins: Jennifer Hudson Breaks Down on the Stand

In a surprise move, Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson was called as the prosecution’s first witness in the Hudson family murder trial in Chicago. The award-winning singer and actress broke down and cried on the witness stand Monday as she recalled the brutal 2008 murders of her mother, brother and young nephew, allegedly at the hands of her jealous brother-in-law, William Balfour. “It was always me and my Tugga Bear,” she told jurors of her beloved 7-year-old nephew Julian King.

Balfour is accused of killing Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in the Southside Chicago home where the Hollywood star grew up. Balfour allegedly killed Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, in the living room, then shot her 29-year-old brother, Jason Hudson, twice in the head as he lay in bed. He then drove off with her sister’s son, Julian King, and later shot the boy, nicknamed “Juice Box,” in the head as he lay behind a front seat, authorities say.

It is anticipated that Jennifer Hudson will attend the entire trial. She was accompanied to court today by her fiancé, the professional wrestler David Otunga. Following her 30-minute testimony, she joined him in the fourth row of the courtroom.

Read more about the trial in The Chicago Tribune here.

Hudson Family Murder Trial Begins

Interview: Jury Expert Discusses Hudson Murder Trial

Jennifer Hudson: And I Am Telling You, I’m Not Going

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Honoring an Icon: Jennifer Hudson Pays Homage to Whitney Houston

Honoring an Icon: Jennifer Hudson Pays Homage to Whitney Houston

Jennifer Hudson honored Whitney Houston’s life with an amazing tribute at the 2012 Grammy Awards. Hudson took the stage at last night’s 54th Annual Grammy Awards to sing an a cappella version of Whitney Houston’s hit I Will Always Love You. A lone spotlight beamed down on the Grammy and Academy Award winning American Idol alum after the artists and music industry executives who have passed away in the last year were paid their respects in a video montage. Thunderous applause rang through the audience before the room went dark and Hudson’s first clear, strong notes rang out.

She sang what could be considered Whitney Houston’s most famous hit, written by Dolly Parton for the soundtrack of The Bodyguard. Hudson’s rendition of the song was above and beyond perfect, as if she was channeling the recently deceased singer herself. Her version was an exact replica of Houston’s own performance at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards twenty years ago. Throughout the song, Hudson appeared to be blinking back tears, and when she finished, she finally caved in to her overwhelming emotion. The audience went wild.

Honoring an Icon: Jennifer Hudson Pays Homage to Whitney Houston

(Best Viewed in HD Full-Scale Mode)

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Jennifer Hudson Shines at the 2009 Grammy Awards!!

Jennifer Hudson Shines at the 2009 Grammy Awards!!

A tearful Jennifer Hudson won her first Grammy, for the best R&B Album of the Year, thanking her family “in heaven and those who are with me today.” Hudson made no direct reference to the killings of her mother, brother and nephew that had kept her in seclusion until just this month. But while fighting back tears, she made it clear that her family was foremost on her mind. Hudson later performed You Pulled Me Through, a typically strong vocal performance; as she sang the last note, she looked directly into the camera and dissolved into tears .

Jennifer Hudson’s self-titled debut album was a 2009 Grammy nominee for R&B Album of the Year, while her song Spotlight was in the running for the Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. In addition, Hudson shared a nomination for the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals for her duet with Fantasia on I’m His Only Woman.

It’s been a childhood dream of mine to release an album, so to receive four Grammy nominations is truly a blessing. I’m extremely honored and humbled by the nominations,” Hudson had said in a statement released by Arista Records earlier.

Hudson’s Grammy Award Acceptance Speech and Performance

Jennifer Hudson 2009 Grammy Awards: Spotlight

Clive Davis Grammy Party 2008: And I Am Telling You

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Jennifer Hudson Returns with a Dramatically Soaring Triumph

Jennifer Hudson Returns with a Dramatically Soaring Triumph

In her first public appearance since the tragic October murders of her mother, brother and nephew in Chicago, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson re-entered the national spotlight and gave a stunning performance of The National Anthem before a huge Super Bowl crowd on Sunday. As she stepped onto the small blue platform with a solemn expression, Hudson initially trembled on her high heels. She began and ended the performance with an audible sigh. But in between, Hudson unleashed her signature crystalline vocals, bringing to The National Anthem a dreamlike, pensive quality that rivaled Whitney Houston’s legendary soul rendition in 1991 during the first Gulf War. Pouring her heart into the music on the largest national stage of the year, Hudson instantly set a new standard.

Jennifer Hudson’s heart has surely been broken by recent events, but her voice remains a rare instrument. If anything, the tragedies in her life gave this performance an emotional inspiration that couldn’t be denied. The result was a grand national diva moment for the ages. Hudson began with feelings of tenuous doubt: Would the world welcome her back? Is she still good enough? In the end, she delivered a dazzling skyward-striving musical call to the heavens. Jennifer Hudson confronted her underlying feelings of almost unspeakable pain, and shared with all of us her capacity to transcend that anguish through a dramatically cathartic musical performance.

Jennifer Hudson Returns with a Dramatically Soaring Triumph

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Boy’s Body Found: Identified as Jennifer Hudson’s Missing Nephew

Boy’s Body Found: Very Likely Jennifer Hudson’s Missing Nephew

It was reported on Friday that the mother and brother of Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson were found shot to death inside her mother’s house on the South Side of Chicago on Friday afternoon, and that the police were said to be looking for her 7-year-old nephew. Police had confirmed that Ms. Hudson’s mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson, 57, was one of the victims, and that the other victim was identified as Ms. Hudson’s brother, Jason S. Hudson, 29.

The body of a young boy was found Monday morning on Chicago’s West Side. He was found inside a white SUV that is registered to Jennifer Hudson’s slain brother, Jason Hudson. The body was of a black boy, about 7 years-old. Although final identification of the boy had not been made, it is very likely that the child is 7-year-old Julian King.

Boy’s Body Found: Very Likely Hudson’s Missing Nephew

Update: Top FBI officials have confirmed that the body discovered in an SUV in Chicago is indeed that of Jennifer Hudson’s missing 7 year-old nephew, Julian King.

Chicago police brought Julian’s body to the medical examiner’s office shortly after noon today. Jennifer Hudson and other family members arrived about three hours later, said office spokesman Sean Howard. When the group entered a viewing room at the office Ms. Hudson held her head down, as if praying, he said. The family then identified Julian via a video screen mounted on a wall that showed his face. The family chose the video screen option rather than looking directly at the body, Howard said.

The family was “obviously distraught,” but Howard said Hudson “remained strong for her family. It was very clear she was the leader. She held hands with her family. It was obviously a very emotional moment.” When they saw the boy’s face on the screen, Hudson told investigators, “Yes, that is him,” Howard said.

Chicago Police Department: Body is Julian King, Ms. Hudson’s Nephew

Later News Reports and Community Reactions to Julian’s Murder

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In Honor of Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson and Her Mother (The Late Darnell Hudson Donerson)

The Mother and Brother of Jennifer Hudson Are Slain

The mother and brother of the Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson were found shot to death inside her mother’s house on the South Side of Chicago on Friday afternoon, and the police were said to be looking for her 7-year-old nephew. Police confirmed that Ms. Hudson’s mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson, 57, was one of the victims, the ABC affiliate WLS reported on its Web site. A neighbor reported that the other victim had been identified as Ms. Hudson’s brother, Jason S. Hudson, 29.

Sen. Barack Obama, a fan and friend of fellow Chicagoan Jennifer Hudson, took time out from his Presidential campaign Saturday to send his condolences to his fellow Chicagoan. “Michelle and I were absolutely heartbroken to learn about this unimaginable tragedy, and we want Jennifer to know that she is in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. We also pray for the swift and safe return of her young nephew.

Hudson, at the behest of Senator Obama, performed the national anthem at the Democratic National Convention in August.

Jennifer Hudson’s Mother, Brother Murdered

News Update: Murder Suspect in Custody

More here.

Jennifer Hudson: The Star Spangled Banner (DNC, Denver)

Jennifer Hudson: And I Am Telling You

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