Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson Headshot

Singer • Actress

Birth Name: Jennifer Kate Hudson

Birth Date: September 12, 1981

Age: 42 years old

Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois

Partners: Common, David Otunga

With one of the most impressive voices to come along in a generation, Jennifer Hudson seemed destined for fame from the first time she appeared in front of a national audience on "American Idol" (Fox, 2001-2016/ABC 2018- ). Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1981, Hudson first began singing in her church choir. By high school, she was earning extra money singing at weddings and funerals.

She had signed her first recording contract with Chicago-based independent label Righteous Records when, in 2004, she landed a spot competing on "American Idol." Righteous Records released from her obligation so that she could appear on the show, and Hudson captured viewers' hearts with her genuineness and talent. She finished as a finalist in seventh place, and proceeded directly from the reality show to an A-list project, playing Effie alongside Beyonce Knowles in the big screen adaptation of the musical "Dreamgirls" (2006).

Hudson's acting blew audiences away just as much as her earth-shaking vocal performance of the signature song "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going." The celebrated performance paved the way for Hudson's self-titled debut album in 2008, which she quickly followed with an appearance in "The Secret Life of Bees" (2008). Hudson also gave birth to a son with partner David Otunga in 2008, shortly before suffering a devastating loss when her mother, brother, and nephew were shot and killed by the estranged husband of her sister.

Hudson took a step back from the spotlight, returning in 2011 with her sophomore album I Remember Me. Hudson continued to act, appearing in the coming of age film "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete" (2013) and released another album, JHUD in 2014.

In 2015 she made her Broadway debut, playing Shug Avery in an acclaimed revival of "The Color Purple." Hudson played Motormouth Maybelle in NBC's "Hairspray Live!" (NBC, 2016), memorably performing the song "I Know Where I've Been." The following year, she became a judge on "The Voice UK" (BBC, 2012-) and proved so popular, she joined the judges' panel on the American version of the show later that same year.

In 2019, Hudson joined the cast of the film adaptation of the musical "Cats" (2019) playing Grizabella.

Credits

BreatheStream

Actor
Maya
Movie
2024
18%

Byron Allen Presents theGrio Awards

Music Performer
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2023

Elmo's Holiday Spectacular: The Nutcracker and Other Tales

Self
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2023

The Jennifer Hudson Show

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Talk
2022

Tell It Like a Woman

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Kim Carter / Pepcy
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2022

The 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

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2021

The 55th Annual CMA Awards

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2021

CBS Mornings

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News
2021

Oprah and Jennifer Hudson

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2021

Jennifer Hudson: Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)

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2021

Hits!: Holiday Pop

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2021

Holiday Hits

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2021

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Aretha Franklin
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2021
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RespectStream

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2021
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Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas SpecialStream

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2020

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 Inductions

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2020

John Lewis: Celebrating a Hero

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2020

The BET Awards 2020

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2020

Global Goal: Unite for Our Future -- The Concert

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2020

The Disney Family Singalong: Volume II

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2020

Mariah Carey Feat. Ariana Grande & Jennifer Hudson: Oh Santa!

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2019

Global Citizen Prize Show

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2019

Global Citizen Prize

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2019

The Kelly Clarkson ShowStream

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2019

Today With Hoda & Jenna

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2019

Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul

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2019

Today's Holidays Hits

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2019

CatsStream

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Grizabella
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2019
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Q 85: A Musical Celebration for Quincy Jones

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2018

Iggy's Return

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2018

All Rise

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Mrs. Harmon
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2018

Access

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2017

A Very Pentatonix Christmas

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2017

The Sunday Project

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2017

The Breakfast Couch

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2017

British Politics and What We've Learned After the 2017 General Election

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2017

Live with Kelly and Ryan

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2017

Jennifer Hudson: Remember Me

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2017

Pentatonix Feat. Jennifer Hudson: How Great Thou Art (From A Very Pentatonix Christmas)

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2017

Pentatonix Feat. Jennifer Hudson: How Great Thou Art

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2017

Jennifer Hudson: Burden Down

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2017

Sounds of the Season Live

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2017

Sandy WexlerStream

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Courtney Clarke
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2017
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Hairspray Live!

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Motormouth Maybelle
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2016

Beat BugsStream

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2016

ConfirmationStream

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2016
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SingStream

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Young Nana
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2016
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Hairspray Live!Stream

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Motormouth Maybelle
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2016
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The Daily Show with Trevor NoahStream

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2015

The Late Show With Stephen ColbertStream

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2015

The Late Show With Stephen ColbertStream

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2015

Red Nose Day

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2015

Jennifer Hudson: Jennifer Hudson Goes #ShortHairDontCare on Style Files

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2015

The Late Late Show With James Corden

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2015

The Oscars

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2015

Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life -- An All-Star Grammy Salute

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2015

BET Honors 2015: Extras

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2015

EmpireStream

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2015
84%

Tyrese feat. Jennifer Hudson: Shame

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2015

Chi-Raq

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Irene
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2015

The 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors

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2014

A Home for the Holidays

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2014

Happy Holidays America

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2014

The Concert for Valor

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2014

Gorgon City Feat. Jennifer Hudson: Go All Night

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2014

Fashion Rocks

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2014

Stand Up to Cancer

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2014

The 68th Annual Tony Awards

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2014

BET Honors 2014: Extras

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2014

Late Night With Seth MeyersStream

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2014

Late Night With Seth MeyersStream

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2014

BET Honors 2014

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2014

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonStream

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2014

Iggy Azalea Feat. Jennifer Hudson: Trouble

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2014

Jennifer Hudson: I Still Love You

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2014

Jennifer Hudson Feat. Timbaland: Walk It Out

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2014

Jennifer Hudson Feat. T.I.: I Can't Describe (The Way I Feel) (Lyric Video)

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2014

Jennifer Hudson Feat. T.I.: I Can't Describe (The Way I Feel)

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2014

Lullaby

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2014

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2014

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2013

Happy Holidays America 2013

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2013

The Queen Latifah Show

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2013

2013 MTV Video Music Awards: Extras

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2013

The Real

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2013

The Oscars

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2013

The Grammys Will Go On: A Death in the Family

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2013

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and PeteStream

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Gloria
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2013
84%

Call Me Crazy: A Five Film

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Maggie
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2013

Black NativityStream

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Naima
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2013
51%

Nobels fredspriskonsert 2012

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2012

Nobel 2012

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2012

We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston

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2012

From Dust to Dreams: Opening Night at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts

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2012

Steve Harvey

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2012

Live! With Kelly and Michael

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2012

Entertainment Studios.TV

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2012

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

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2012

The Voice

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2012

The Voice UK

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2012

The 43rd NAACP Image Awards

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2012

SmashStream

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2012
68%

NFL Super Bowl Gospel Celebration

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2012

CBS This Morning

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2012

Ne-Yo & Jennifer Hudson: Think Like a Man

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2012

Jennifer Hudson & Ne-Yo Feat. Rick Ross: Think Like a Man

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2012

The Three Stooges

Actor
Sister Rosemary
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2012

Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade

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2011

LIVE with Kelly

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2011

The Jonathan Ross ShowStream

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2011

Dish Nation

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2011

Brooks & Dunn: The Last Rodeo

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2011

The VoiceStream

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2011

The VoiceStream

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2011

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards

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2011

The Gayle King Show

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2011

Jennifer Hudson: No One Gonna Love You

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2011

Jennifer Hudson: Where You At

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2011

Winnie

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Winnie Mandela
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2011

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2011

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2010

Tina Fey: The Mark Twain Prize

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2010

The TalkStream

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2010

Access Hollywood Live

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2010

Lorraine

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2010

ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn -- The Last Rodeo

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2010

The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards

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2010

Jennifer Hudson: I Will Always Love You (As performed at the 2010 BET Honors)

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2010

Jennifer Hudson: I'll Be Home for Christmas

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2009

ES.TV

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2009

ES.TV

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2009

The Dr. Oz Show

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2009

The Project

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2009

Watch What Happens Live With Andy CohenStream

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2009

Alan Carr: Chatty Man

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2009

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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2009

The 40th NAACP Image Awards

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2009

The 51st Annual Grammy Awards

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2009

An Evening of Stars Tribute to Patti LaBelle

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2009

Jennifer Hudson: If This Isn't Love

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2009

The Wendy Williams Show

Guest
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2008

Jennifer Hudson: Spotlight

Music Performer
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2008

Sex and the CityStream

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Louise
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2008
50%

The Secret Life of BeesStream

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Rosaleen
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2008
59%

Winged Creatures

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2008

Elmo's Christmas Countdown

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2007

Today With Kathie Lee & Hoda

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2007

Chelsea Lately

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2007

Chelsea Lately

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2007

The Graham Norton ShowStream

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2007

The Graham Norton ShowStream

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2007

Jennifer Hudson: And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going

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2007

Our World With Black Enterprise

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2006

Rachael Ray ShowStream

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2006

The One Show

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2006

America's Got TalentStream

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Reality
2006

etalk

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2006

DreamgirlsStream

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Effie White
Movie
2006
79%

Entertainment Tonight Canada

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2005

Dancing With the StarsStream

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Reality
2005

Out There with Melissa DiMarco

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2005

Project RunwayStream

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2004

Extreme Makeover: Home EditionStream

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2004

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Guest
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2003

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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2003

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

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2003

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

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2003

American IdolStream

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Reality
2003
68%

Loose Women

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2002

Live With Regis and Kelly

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2001

Live With Regis and Kelly

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2001

Entertainment Studios.com

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2000

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2000

The Early Show

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1999

In Performance at The White House

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1998

Kickin' It: With Byron Allen

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1998

The ViewStream

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1997

The ViewStream

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1997

Theater Talk

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1996

Access Hollywood

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1996

Access Hollywood

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1996

Entertainers: With Byron Allen

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1994

Extra

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1994

Late Show With David Letterman

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1993

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

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1992

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

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1992

Dateline NBCStream

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1992

E! News

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1991

The Oprah Winfrey ShowStream

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1986

The Oprah Winfrey ShowStream

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1986

Entertainment Tonight

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1981

CBS News Sunday Morning

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1979

20/20Stream

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Good Morning America

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Good Morning America

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1975

Today

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Today

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1952

News aboutJennifer Hudson

Sherri Shepherd on The Jennifer Hudson Show

Sherri Shepherd Opens Up About Flirting With Her Talk Show Guests: ‘Come Play With Me On My Couch’

Lisa Rinna on The Jennifer Hudson Show

‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Star Lisa Rinna Addresses Whether She’ll Return to Show

American Idol coach Debra Byrd

Debra Byrd, ‘American Idol’ and ‘The Voice’ Vocal Coach, Dies at 72

Whoopi Goldberg, Ken Jennings, and Pat Sajak

Will ‘Jeopardy!,’ ‘Wheel of Fortune’ & ‘The View’ Be Forced Off Air by Writers’ Strike?

The Jennifer Hudson Show and the Talk

‘Jennifer Hudson Show’ & ‘The Talk’ to Return Amid Writers & Actors Strikes

Mayim Bialik and Leslie Jordan on Call Me Kat

Mayim Bialik Learned of Leslie Jordan’s Death While on Set for ‘Call Me Kat’

American-Idol-Successes

9 Biggest Success Stories From ‘American Idol’

Best Super Bowl National Anthems of All Time, Ranked (VIDEO)

Jennifer Hudson and Sherri Shepherd talk shows

‘The Jennifer Hudson Show’ & Sherri Shepherd’s ‘Sherri’ Renewed

Jennifer Hudson (L) and Simon Cowell (R)

Jennifer Hudson’s First Talk Show Guest Will Be Simon Cowell, 18 Years After ‘Idol’

Jennifer Hudson in promo image for 'The Jennifer Hudson Show'
Fall Preview

Jennifer Hudson on Her Hosting Style & How Much Singing to Expect in Talk Show

The Jennifer Hudson Show

‘The Jennifer Hudson Show’ Sets Fall Premiere Date

Jennifer Hudson

‘The Jennifer Hudson Show’ Coming to Daytime in Fall 2022 From ‘Ellen’ Team

Adele at the 2012 Grammys

Remembering the Record-Breaking 2012 Grammy Awards

Jennifer Hudson attends the 27th Annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Celebration

Jennifer Hudson Working on Daytime Talk Show With ‘Ellen’ Team

The 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards - Pink

10 of the Most Unforgettable Grammy Moments, From Pink Taking Flight to Kesha’s Comeback (VIDEO)

The Black Church This is Our Story Our Song
Review

Roush Review: ‘The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song’ Is a Joyful Noise

christina-aguilera-jennifer-hudson-john-legend

Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson & More Join ‘The Disney Family Singalong: Volume II’

american-idol

15 Amazing ‘American Idol’ Auditions Over the Years (VIDEO)

THE VOICE --

Mariah Carey Joins ‘The Voice’ & 4 More Great Moments From Knockouts

Scott Hoying of Pentatonix performs with Jennifer Hudson on A Very Pentatonix Christmas Special - Season 1
Exclusive

First Look: Jennifer Hudson and Other Guests Stop by to Celebrate ‘A Very Pentatonix Christmas’

The Voice - Cast
Exclusive

Is It Lucky Season 13 for ‘The Voice’? (VIDEO)

Hairspray Live! - Dove Cameron as Amber Von Tussle, Derek Hough as Corny Collins, Maddie Baillio as Tracy Turnblad

‘Hairspray Live!’: What Can We Expect? (PHOTOS)

Hairspray Live! - Season 2016

‘Hairspray Live!’: On the Set of the TV Version of John Waters’s Hit Musical

Hairspray Live!

‘Hairspray Live!’ First-Look Promo Unveiled During Olympics

Margaret Cho, Kristen Bell and Derek Hough

TV’s Biggest Stars Strike a Pose at TCA (PHOTOS)

TvTattle_4b-812x522

Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein to Headline NBC’s ‘Hairspray Live!’

TV Tattle

HBO’s confirmation adds Jennifer Hudson, Greg Kinnear to play Joe Biden