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Thread: Jennifer Hudson - FINALIST

  1. #411
    Rock Stars! bbnbama's Avatar
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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/eonline/2006...5-38970f42451f



    Los Angeles (E! Online) - As the saying goes, every time an American Idol alum becomes a star, Simon Cowell's ego gets new wings.

    "We have our history together, don't we, Jennifer?" the sharp-tongued Brit said to season-three finalist Jennifer Hudson in a video clip played on The Oprah Winfrey Show last week during an appearance by the cast of the upcoming big-screen musical Dreamgirls.

    "Now I feel my criticism has probably had a significant part in your career, because the buzz on you is huge," said Cowell, who once suggested that the singer was "out of [her] league" on Idol.

    Whether or not Cowell's brand of constructive criticism helped get Hudson to where she is today, the 25-year-old Chicago native never really stopped moving full speed ahead.

    Hudson has signed with Arista Records, the longtime home to artists such as Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Dionne Warwick and Sarah McLachlan.

    She joins fellow Idol graduates Carrie Underwood, Fantasia Barrino, Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks on Arista founder Clive Davis' J Records (which merged operations with Arista in August 2005).

    "Clive Davis is a legend, and I feel more than honored to be associated with him," Hudson, who will start working on her debut album in January, said. "Because of his vision and hands-on approach, Arista already feels like home. I can't wait for us all to make beautiful music together."

    "Jennifer is a vocal wonder, a tremendously gifted artist," Davis said about his new client. "Her extraordinary voice gives her a signature sound and distinguished her from every singer on the horizon today. Jennifer is a very exciting new addition to the Arista family."

    While Hudson's sixth-place finish on American Idol in 2004 was a major disappointment for her legions of loyal fans—and prompted the eyebrow-raising comment from Elton John that the vote had been racist—the soulful singer wasn't out in the cold for long.

    After a lengthy audition process, Hudson beat out nearly 800 other women, including former Idol champ Fantasia Barrino, for the role of Effie in the long-awaited adaptation of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls, out Dec. 15. Hudson not only stars alongside Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Beyoncé, but her character also has one of the production's most memorable songs, the heart-piercing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going."

    Named ShoWest's 2006 Female Star of Tomorrow and one of Variety's 10 Actors to Watch this year, Hudson is already generating major supporting actress Oscar buzz.

    Which you can bet hasn't gone unnoticed by Simon Cowell.

    "I heard your [version] of 'And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going' today, and I would like to be the first to eat a massive dose of humble pie," Cowell said last week. "Because there are good performances and occasionally there are extraordinary performances. That was extraordinary, Jennifer, and I feel very proud for you. I feel we had a very small part in what's happened in your life, and please thank me when you get your Oscar.”

    And perhaps she will.

    "Simon said to be that you only get one shot at the big time—but you know what Simon, I got shot number two," Hudson said when announcing her recording contract, apparently still thinking about Cowell's mistaken first impression of her. "Any time I am nervous about something I say that if I got through Idol I can get through anything. It helps me calm my nerves."


    ~*~*~*~*~~*~*~*~*~*
    You gotta love Simon!
    Reality is the beginning...not the end....Wallace Stevens

  2. #412
    Rock Stars! bbnbama's Avatar
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    http://music.aol.com/songs/new_releases_full_cds

    Click on the Dreamgirls cover and you can listen to the songs on the CD....

    I am sitting here in tears after listening to Jennifer's version of "You're gonna love me".........absolutely awesome!!!!!!!
    Reality is the beginning...not the end....Wallace Stevens

  3. #413
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    The girl is amazing and its a shame that she didnt go further. But Ill guess, she'll be laughing all the way to a assured Golden Globe win, Oscar nomination and potential win.

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    They just said on the Today Show that Jennifer got a Golden Glode nomination for Best Supporting Actress!!!

    She's going to be performing on there shortly!!!!!!!!

    I am so proud of her!!!!
    Reality is the beginning...not the end....Wallace Stevens

  5. #415
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbnbama;2170045;
    http://music.aol.com/songs/new_releases_full_cds

    Click on the Dreamgirls cover and you can listen to the songs on the CD....

    I am sitting here in tears after listening to Jennifer's version of "You're gonna love me".........absolutely awesome!!!!!!!

    It's gone. Does anyone have a link somewhere tot his song? Everybody is talking about it. I'd love to hear it.


    TIA

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    http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/n...celebrity_heds

    Life after 'Idol'? It's a dream
    Jennifer Hudson returns to Chicago for movie premiere amid talk of Oscar nomination

    By Mark Caro
    Tribune entertainment reporter

    Jennifer Hudson had been driven to her high school before, but never with a woman brushing her hair from the SUV seat behind her while another woman sat next to her spraying a bronze mist from an aerosol can onto her legs.

    "It's just to even out the tone of the legs," the sprayer explained.

    "It makes you look like you have nylons on," said Hudson, the 25-year-old singing star of "Dreamgirls" and "American Idol."

    "I wasn't always in the limelight, so that didn't seem to matter then," she laughed. "But now every little impression counts."

    The drive from her downtown hotel to the South Side's Paul Laurence Dunbar Vocational Career Academy was a short one, but Hudson might as well have been descending from another planet. The previous night "Dreamgirls" -- director Bill Condon's adaptation of the hit Broadway musical about a Supremes-like female singing trio -- had been screened in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, with Hudson in the AMC River East audience. (It opens Christmas Day.)

    By morning the Internet was awash with raves about the movie and, in particular, Hudson's performance.

    "She not only owns this movie, she rides it like a rocket to instant superstardom," the Los Angeles Times' Tom O'Neil wrote in his "Gold Derby" blog after the West Coast screening.

    "The powerful surprise is Jennifer Hudson, who will be winning an Oscar this year, no matter what category they run her in," chimed in David Poland of The Hot Button and Movie City News.

    Hudson became famous for using her force-of-nature pipes to blow away the competition on "American Idol" Season 3 (2004), at least until viewers shockingly voted her off the show while six other singers remained standing. She has more than compensated by not only landing the prime role of Effie in "Dreamgirls"-- beating out, among others, "Idol" Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino -- but also by shining amid a star-studded cast that includes Beyonce Knowles as the Diana Ross stand-in, Deena; Jamie Foxx as the group's manager; and Eddie Murphy as a soul singer in decline.

    Life will never be the same for Hudson, and she knows it. She speaks with the frequent high-pitched laughter and careful humility of a girl who sees a bounty of presents awaiting her under the Christmas tree. But she hasn't gone Hollywood just yet: She's still someone tied to Chicago who is just as effusive about Denny's grilled-chicken omelets (she has them custom made) as her Oscar prospects.

    "She's naive, even today," said singer/actress Felicia Fields ("The Color Purple" on Broadway), who befriended Hudson when the two appeared in the musical "Big River" at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire in 2001. Fields was struck by how enthusiastically Hudson responded to fans' shout-outs at the New York "Dreamgirls" premiere earlier this month. "She's a sweet person and a genuine person. I hope she stays that way."

    Wearing a brown sweater-and-skirt combination with high-heeled brown suede shoes, Hudson passed through Dunbar's metal detectors with an entourage that included the hairdresser, makeup artist, a couple of publicists and her longtime boyfriend, who stays in the background while remaining quietly supportive. (He was perfectly friendly as he declined to be interviewed.)

    "When I was eliminated from `Idol,' they had a pep rally for me," she said. "And I came in and got to see all the kids, so it feels good to be back."

    Hudson smiled for a few stray students, who did double-takes or waved, before entering a room usually used for shop class. "The boring classes were over here," she whispered.

    On one of the white cinderblock walls was taped a yellowing poster that read, "The Pride of Dunbar Vocational Career Academy. JENNIFER HUDSON."

    Hudson really wanted to return to where she had been taken on her prior visit: the Jennifer Hudson Room. "They have like the Jennifer Hudson shrine," she said. "It's weird. Videos. Footage of me. All the pictures of me singing. It was just crazy."

    An alumni coordinator and other school representatives introduced themselves. Hudson asked, "Y'all still got the Jennifer Hudson Room?"

    "Um ... " Awkward silence.

    "I guess not," she said with a shrug.

    Someone entered a storage area and emerged with tributes drawn by students and old photos of Hudson. A videotape showed a 10-year-old Hudson singing in her church choir.

    Hudson, the baby among five full and half-siblings in a family often described as "low-key," said she always knew she wanted to sing before audiences. She began doing so in church when she was 7. "They would never give me a solo or give me a chance, so I remember sitting in the bathroom at home crying, like, `If nobody will listen to me sing, I'll listen to me sing,'" she recalled. When she finally got her first solo, on "Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone," "I forgot the words, and the congregation had to help me out."

    Things got better.

    "I was voted most talented in high school," she chirped. "I sang in the choir. I have `superior' ratings from city and state school competitions. I sang opera, classical, you know, everything."

    While she was taking classes at Kennedy-King College in Chicago, her music teacher arranged for her to audition for "Big River." Rick Boynton, then the Marriott Theatre's artistic director, was immediately struck by this 19-year-old singer's "tremendous groundedness."

    "Quite honestly I will never forget Jennifer Hudson coming in and singing for us because she was so unassuming and really understated in terms of personality," said Boynton, now at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. "She just came into the room and opened her mouth, and it was something I had never heard. It was incredible. She got the part immediately."

    Fields also remembered being immediately struck by Hudson's singing. "My first impression of her was, `Whoa! Those are some pipes!'"

    Hudson's job was to sing the gospel number "How Blest We Are." Fields became her mentor and friend. "On Wednesdays there were two shows and this big space between the shows, and we would drive up to Vernon Hills, and we would go to Wal-Mart and shop," Fields said.

    From "Big River," Hudson moved to an eight-month contract to perform on a Disney cruise line despite being a self-described "homebody and mama's baby."

    "From the moment I stepped on that ship, I was like, I will never be at home for good ever again," she said.

    Four days after she got off the ship, she auditioned for "American Idol" in Atlanta.

    Early in "Dreamgirls" the Dreamettes, the singing trio still fronted by Effie, lift a talent-show crowd into soul heaven then get snubbed by the judges. "When the curtain goes down on her at the end," Fields said of the scene, "that's the same look she had on her face when she lost [`American Idol']."

    The multiple parallels with Effie weren't lost on Hudson, either. "Effie's journey, being the talent and then [being] put in the background and not being able to understand . . . and then me being kicked off of a talent show . . . "

    Now, as then, Hudson is careful not to complain about her "Idol" ouster, instead remaining thankful for the opportunity and faithful in what she calls God's overall plan for her. "It wasn't a big deal for her because one of her dreams had already come true," said Hudson's older sister, Julia. "All she wanted was for the world to hear her singing."

    The younger Hudson certainly isn't complaining now. Part of what makes Effie indelible is that she, like the woman who plays her, comes across as guileless, yet when she erupts, such as on the showstopper, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," the effect is volcanic.

    "She sort of channels when she sings," Boynton said. "Not only does she have a huge voice but it comes from this well of emotion."

    "I Am Telling You," which prompted an ovation at the Chicago screening, is Effie's defiant response to rejection -- from her boyfriend, from her group. But Hudson said she wasn't working out any of her own feelings as she belted it out.

    "I felt like I was saying what Florence Ballard would have wanted to say," Hudson said, referring to the big-voiced Supreme who was cast aside and ultimately died in poverty at age 32. "In reading [about Ballard] I got angry for Florence. Like highly upset. Like, oooh, and I felt like her voice."

    Hudson had an acting coach and a director who helped craft her performance. Still, to go from "American Idol" sixth runner-up to presumptive Oscar nominee is quite a leap. On Thursday she received a Golden Globe best supporting actress nomination to add to her several critics groups' awards.

    "I was actually surprised that she acted so well," Julia said. "I knew she wanted to be famous, and I knew she wanted to sing. I never expected the movie thing."

    Fields said she cried three times while watching Hudson play Effie. "She's not acting," the veteran actress said. "She's being Jennifer, which is good because I believe that what comes from the heart reaches the heart."

    She's also still being Jennifer -- and not some overcoached media creation -- off-screen, though she does have a habit of referring to herself in the third person, usually playfully. Her spontaneous candor can be charming, but it also has hurt her, such as when a Dallas gay and lesbian paper asked her this month how she squares her Baptist beliefs with her appearances at gay-friendly events, and she responded, "Everybody sins. No sin is greater or different than the other. To each his own. If it don't bother Jennifer, then Jennifer don't mind."

    Her equation of being gay with "sin" -- as she explained that the Bible defines it -- sparked a brief brouhaha. "I was very surprised," Hudson said over the phone last week. "I've always been a strong supporter of the gay community. My feelings were so hurt when that came about."

    In other areas she may appear to be overly cautious or fuzzy, such as when an audience member at the post-screening Q&A congratulated Hudson on her just-announced record deal and asked what kind of music would be on her album. Her response: "We haven't had that meeting yet."

    On the way to Dunbar the next morning, I pressed her: What kind of music does she want to sing? "I know, I have to think about it," she said.

    Driving back from Dunbar, Hudson enjoyed gazing out the window as the South Side gave way to the Magnificent Mile, where she loves to shop "anywhere that's open."

    Work keeps taking her away, including a killer "Dreamgirls" promotional schedule, but she just bought her first home, a four-bedroom condo in Hyde Park.

    "I've always wanted to live in Hyde Park, so that's where I'm going to be," she said. "Of course, they're like, `You should move to L.A., New York,' but I want my first place to be here at home in Chicago. There's no other place in the world like it. It's where my family is. Yep."

    Hudson's other planned big purchase? A Lexus. "I actually have a [Buick] Riviera," she said. "That car, mark my words, it's going in a frame in my mansion when I get that when I'm 30. I will have a mansion, and I'm going to put the car in a frame in the mansion as `Jennifer Hudson's first car.'"

    Unlike many celebrities, Jennifer Hudson isn't afraid to say what pops into her head, even if it isn't advancing her promotional agenda. Some choice tidbits:

    - "I eat ice with my cereal. People think that's weird, but I don't." ()

    - "Every once in awhile, I like to go to Denny's and have an omelet. I love eggs from my head down to my legs!"

    - "Honey, when they told me I was going to Cannes, France [for a `Dreamgirls' event], I thought they were giving Canada a nickname. I was like, `I'm sorry, Canada, you mean?' They're like, `No, Cannes, France.' I was like, `What is that?'"

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    I hope she stays the same....! Great interview!
    Reality is the beginning...not the end....Wallace Stevens

  7. #417
    Rock Stars! bbnbama's Avatar
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    The Cinema Society and The Wall Street Journal After Party for "Dreamgirls"



    Hollywood Life's Breakthrough of the Year Awards


    New York premiere:
    Her and her mom

    after party with Jamie Foxx

    Los Angeles premiere:
    with longtime boyfriend, James Patton
    Last edited by bbnbama; 12-18-2006 at 11:52 AM. Reason: add more pics....
    Reality is the beginning...not the end....Wallace Stevens

  8. #418
    Dreamer rt1ky's Avatar
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    I"m so happy for her. I hope she wins the Globe and the Oscar.

  9. #419
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    Quote Originally Posted by rt1ky;2181670;
    I"m so happy for her. I hope she wins the Globe and the Oscar.
    ME TOO! That's exactly what I wanted to say! Well said rt1ky!

  10. #420
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    I hope she doesn't change too much. She sounds like a real treasure!

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