Jennifer Kate Hudson (born September 12, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter and film actress. Hudson came to prominence in 2004 as one of the finalists on the third season of the FOX reality television series American Idol. She made her film debut in the 2006 hit Dreamgirls. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance, also winning a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award among many others.
She won a Grammy Award for her R&B/soul self-titled debut album, which was released in 2008 on Arista Records and soon certified gold by the RIAA for more than 500,000 shipped copies, spawning the hit single "Spotlight."
In late 2008 Hudson's mother, brother, and nephew were killed in a shooting. Her estranged brother-in-law has been charged with their murders.