"Even though I am extremely blessed to have accomplished many of my goals at such a young age, I am still reaching, still striving."
Born Jennifer Kate Hudson on Sept. 12, 1981, in Chicago, Illinois
Jennifer Hudson first emerged in 2004 as a finalist on season three of "American Idol," where she came in seventh place. Hudson's self-titled debut was released in 2008, landing at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.
The singer's debut album raked in multiple GRAMMY nominations and took home the award for Best R&B Album.
In 2012 Hudson turned in a touching tribute to the late Whitney Houston by performing "I Will Always Love You" at the 54th GRAMMY Awards. Three years earlier, she sang "You Pulled Me Through" at the 51st GRAMMY Awards, where she wowed audiences with a chilling a capella opening.
Did you know? Hudson is also an accomplished actress, having made her film debut in the 2006 musical drama Dreamgirls. She was awarded an Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award for her role as Effie White in the film.
In 2012 Hudson partnered with Gucci to introduce the new GRAMMY Museum I-Gucci Museum Timepiece watch. Proceeds from the sale benefited the Music Preservation Program.
In 2008 Hudson and her sister Julia founded the Julian D. Kling Gift Foundation, which helps to "provide stability, support, and positive experiences for children of all backgrounds." The charity was formed in honor of Hudson's nephew who was killed earlier that year.
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