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Jennifer Hudson is the eponymous debut studio album by American singer and actress Jennifer Hudson. It was first released in Australia, and it physically released in North America on September 27, 2008, by Arista and J Records. Hudson worked with several producers and songwriters on the album, including Rock City, Missy Elliott, Brian Kennedy, Ne-Yo, Salaam Remi, T-Pain, Tank, Timbaland and The Underdogs, among others. Three singles were released; "Spotlight" reached number one on the Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and in the top 20 on the UK Singles Chart. Jennifer Hudson debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, with first-week sales of 217,000 copies. and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the United States.

Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson - Jennifer Hudson (album).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 27, 2008 (2008-09-27)
RecordedJanuary 2007–2008
Jennifer Hudson chronology
Jennifer Hudson
I Remember Me
Singles from Jennifer Hudson
  1. "Spotlight"
    Released: June 10, 2008
  2. "If This Isn't Love"
    Released: February 24, 2009
  3. "Giving Myself"
    Released: June 2, 2009

Hudson promoted the album in numerous live appearances; including co-heading a North American concert tour with Robin Thicke, from March to May 2009. Hudson won three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding New Artist, Outstanding Album and Outstanding Duo or Group for the album,[3] and was nominated for four Grammy Awards, winning for Best R&B Album.[4] A deluxe edition was released to iTunes on February 24, 2009.[5][6]


In January 2002, Hudson signed her first recording contract with Righteous Records, a Chicago-based independent record label. In 2004, she was released from her five-year contract so that she could audition for the third season of American Idol in Atlanta.[7] As a finalist, Hudson received the highest number of votes in the Top 9 after her performance of Elton John's "Circle of Life" on April 6, 2004, but two weeks later she was eliminated after performing Barry Manilow's "Weekend in New England", coming in seventh place.[8]

In November 2005, Hudson was cast in the role of Effie White for the film adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls.[9] The filmmakers insisted on casting a relative unknown in the role, paralleling the casting of then-24-year-old Jennifer Holliday in that role for the original Broadway production.[9] 783 singing actresses auditioned for the role of Effie White.[10] Hudson was selected to play Effie, leading Fantasia Barrino to telephone her and jokingly complain that she "stole [Barrino's] part".[11][12][13] Her performance earned several prizes, including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Hudson won particular praise for her show-stopping onscreen rendition of the hit song, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", the signature song of the role.[14][15] Her rendition entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 98 in the January 13, 2007, issue and was Hudson's first top ten hit on the Billboard Hot Adult R&B Airplay chart on February 24, 2007.

In September 2006, Hudson performed the song "Over It" live on Fox Chicago Morning News. In the interview, she said that the song would be included on her first album, to be released in early 2007; this was before she had been signed to a record label.[16] In late November 2006, it was announced that Hudson has signed a recording contract with J Records, a label of the Sony BMG music conglomerate.[17] Hudson spoke to Access Hollywood at the 2006 A Fine Romance event in Hollywood, exclaiming,: "My album, I'll be recording my album! I just signed my record deal two weeks ago. So I'm starting on that in January."[17]

Release and promotionEdit


The first single, "Spotlight", written and produced by Ne-Yo and Stargate, was played on U.S. radio on June 9, 2008, and the following day was available as a music download. The song peaked at number twenty-four on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, spending two consecutive weeks on top. In September 2008, "Spotlight" reached number eleven on the UK Singles Chart and peaked at number one on UK Airplay Chart.

The second single, "If This Isn't Love", was released on February 24, 2009.[18] "My Heart" was originally scheduled as the second single and was due for an October 2008 release, but when her family murders occurred, Hudson rescheduled the release to January 2009. The single was then changed to "If This Isn't Love". On the charts, the track reached number five of the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and the top forty of the UK Singles Chart. "If This Isn't Love" had a second consecutive week at number one on the Urban Adult Radio Charts, Hudson thus joining a group of only five other women in urban adult history to reach this accomplishment.[19]

The third single, "Giving Myself", was sent to US radio on June 2, 2009.[20] It charted on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at number 84.


Spring Tour with Robin Thicke
Tour by Jennifer Hudson
Associated albumJennifer Hudson
Start dateMarch 31, 2009
End dateMay 21, 2009
No. of shows20 in North America

The "Spring Tour with Robin Thicke",[21] a tour to promote her album, began on March 31, 2009, in Albany, New York.[22][23] Due to strain on her vocal cords, Hudson was instructed by her doctor to go on vocal rest, which led to several dates having to be rescheduled.[24]

Tour datesEdit

Date[25] City Venue
March 31, 2009 Albanay Palace Theatre
April 2, 2009 Newark New Jersey Performing Arts Center
April 3, 2009 Upper Darby Tower Theater
April 4, 2009 Baltimore Lyric Theatre
April 5, 2009 Washington, D.C. DAR Constitution Hall
April 9, 2009 Mashantucket MGM Grand at Foxwoods
April 10, 2009 New York City WaMu Theatre
April 12, 2009 Norfolk Chrysler Hall
April 15, 2009 Atlanta Fox Theatre
April 17, 2009 Charlotte Ovens Auditorium
April 18, 2009 Newark New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Greensboro Special Events Center
April 19, 2009 Richmond Landmark Theater
April 23, 2009 St. Louis Fox Theatre
April 24, 2009 Detroit Detroit Opera House
April 25, 2009 Chicago Arie Crown Theater
May 2, 2009 Los Angeles Nokia Theatre
May 17, 2009[26] Houston Verizon Wireless Theater
May 19, 2009[26] Oakland Paramount Theatre
May 21, 2009[26] Grand Prairie Nokia Theatre at Grand Prairie

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating     [2]
AllMusic     [27]
Boston Globe(positive)[28]
Chicago Tribune(mixed)[29]
Digital Spy     [30]
Entertainment Weekly(B-)[31]
New York Daily News     [32]
Slant Magazine     [33]
The Times     [34]

Jennifer Hudson received mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 58, based on seven reviews.[35] Mark Edward Nero form commended the album as "generally well-sung and well-produced" and considered it "without a doubt one of the strongest R&B albums of 2008."[2] Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe found that, "despite its flaws, Hudson's debut comes on much like her Dreamgirls character, with admirable self-assurance and real-girl sensuality." While she felt that the album was "a sometimes illogical jumble that hopscotches from gritty urban soul to glossy adult contemporary pop to the song that clinched her the little gold statue — "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going." Hudson ties it all together with her titanic vocal prowess and emotional conviction. The Chicago native owns the strong material and elevates the weak [...] The most striking thing about the record, and what ultimately holds it together, is the placement of Hudson's voice front and center in the mix.[28] Billboard named Jennifer Hudson 2008's "best R&B album" and said that Hudson's "self-titled debut showcases a voice so big, with an interpretive talent so natural, that it seems to burst beyond the confines of the recording. Hudson is so comfortable with singing — whatever the song might be — that she elevates the material, making it sound like nothing you've ever heard before. All hail the new diva".[1][36]

Less enthusiastic, Chris Willman of Entertainment Weekly stated that, "The identity-defying something for everybody mentality yields a Robin Thicke ballad, a Timbaland stomper, some semi-acoustic soul from Stargate, and so on. None are exceptional, but they're all a sufficient delivery system for those spectacular vocal chops." He gave the album a B– rating.[31] Similarly, Greg Kot from Chicago Tribune wrote, "There's no denying the Chicago native is a prodigiously gifted vocalist. But a singer is only as strong as her material, and there's not enough on Jennifer Hudson that measures up to her gutsy, gospel-drenched alto. Hudson's raw ability has been badly mismanaged."[29] New York Daily News's Jim Farber wrote, that "clearly, Hudson needed the younger stuff to get on radio. Unfortunately, it violates her gift as a twentysomething woman whose voice sounds like it has been there and back. When she calls on that, Hudson comes closest to nailing the dream."[32] Andy Kellman of AllMusic said, "Few vocalists as young as Hudson have a voice that is as versatile and expressive, proficient enough to pull off a multi-dimensional set of R&B songs, yet her debut is as tricked out as that of an artist with a small fraction of the talent. Neither the treatments nor the accessories were necessary."[27]


The album received four Grammy Award nominations at the 51st Grammy Awards in 2009 for Best R&B Album, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for "Spotlight".[37] At the ceremony on February 8, 2009, she performed "You Pulled Me Through" and she won the award for Best R&B Album.[38]

Commercial performanceEdit

The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with sales of 217,000 copies sold in the United States.[39] In its second week, the album fell to number 4, with sales of 63,000 copies.[40] On November 7, 2008, the album was certified Gold by RIAA and by 2011 had sold 826,000 copies.[41]

The album peaked at number twenty-one on the UK Albums Chart,[42] and has sold 172,720 copies as of April 2011.[43]

Track listingEdit

2."If This Isn't Love"3:36
3."Pocketbook" (featuring Ludacris)3:18
4."Giving Myself"Robin Thicke
  • Thicke
  • Pro-Jay
5."What's Wrong (Go Away)" (featuring T-Pain)Faheem NajmT-Pain3:47
6."My Heart"
7."You Pulled Me Through"Diane Warren
  • Mason
  • Kennedy
8."I'm His Only Woman" (featuring Fantasia)4:18
9."Can't Stop the Rain"
  • Stargate
  • Ne-Yo[B]
10."We Gon' Fight"
12."And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"
  • The Underdogs
  • Mason Jr.[A]
13."Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There"TraditionalWarryn Campbell4:24
  • ^[A] denotes vocals producer
  • ^[B] denotes co-producer
  • ^[C] denotes additional producer



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[53] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[54] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release historyEdit

Region Date Version
Australia September 27, 2008 Original
United Kingdom September 29, 2008
United States September 30, 2008
Canada October 7, 2008
Europe December 12, 2008
United States February 24, 2009 Re-release
Brazil March 11, 2009 Original


  1. ^ a b c "Jennifer Hudson review". Billboard. Reuters. October 4, 2008. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Nero, Mark Edward. "Sassy & Sophisticated". Archived from the original on March 22, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  3. ^ Hite, N'neka (February 12, 2009). "Bees big at NAACP Image Awards". Variety. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
  4. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (February 8, 2009). "Jennifer Hudson wins at marathon Grammys show". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 8, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
  5. ^ "Jennifer Hudson (Deluxe Edition) Available on iTunes Today! | The Official Jennifer Hudson Site". Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  6. ^ "iTunes – Music – Jennifer Hudson (Deluxe Edition) by Jennifer Hudson". February 24, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  7. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (November 8, 2008). "Jennifer Hudson Moves to 'Better Place'". People. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
  8. ^ "'Idol' Jennifer Hudson Says She Was Robbed". MTV. April 23, 2004. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
  9. ^ a b (2007). Building the Dream (Documentary from Dreamgirls: 2 Disc Showstopper Edition). DreamWorks Home Entertainment/Paramount Pictures.
  10. ^ Murray, Jawn (December 26, 2006). "BVBuzz". AOL Black Voices. Archived from the original on March 29, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  11. ^ "'American Idol' finalist Jennifer Hudson gets lead role in 'Dreamgirls' movie" Archived October 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Jet magazine, December 5, 2005. Retrieved on March 3, 2007.
  12. ^ O'Neil, Tom, "Dreamgirl Hudson is frontrunner for supporting Oscar". Gold Derby, August 15, 2006. Retrieved on November 11, 2006.
  13. ^ Fonseca, Nicholas, "Fantasia's Second Act." Entertainment Weekly, December 8, 2006). Retrieved on January 21, 2008.
  14. ^ Vilkomerson, Sara (December 3, 2006). "Dreamgirls Wakes Up". The New York Observer. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
  15. ^ "Hudson steals 'Dreamgirls,' flirts with Oscar". MSNBC. December 11, 2006. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
  16. ^ "Jennifer Hudson sings 'Over It'". YouTube. September 7, 2005. Retrieved July 9, 2006.
  17. ^ a b Nero, Mark Edward. "Jennifer Hudson signs with Clive Davis". Access Hollywood. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  18. ^ "All Access Music Group". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on September 14, 2008.
  19. ^ "Jennifer Hudson Makes Radio History!". Archived from the original on May 6, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  20. ^ "®R&R :: Going For Adds™ :: Urban AC". June 2, 2009. Archived from the original on May 12, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  21. ^ Meet Jennifer Hudson on Tour!
  22. ^ "Information Not Found". Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  23. ^ "Jennifer Hudson & Robin Thicke Announce Tour Dates". February 18, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  24. ^ "Tour Dates Re-Scheduled – Update | The Official Jennifer Hudson Site". Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  25. ^ "Jennifer Hudson Announces Tour Dates". MTV. February 18, 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  26. ^ a b c "Tour Dates Re-Scheduled – Update". JHudson. May 5, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2009.
  27. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Jennifer Hudson (2008) review". AllMusic. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  28. ^ a b Rodman, Sarah (October 2, 2008). "She Is Telling You She's Here to Stay". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  29. ^ a b Kot, Greg (September 30, 2008). "Jennifer Hudson's Brilliant Voice Victim of Dull Songs [...]". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  30. ^ Levine, Nick (September 29, 2008). "Jennifer Hudson: Jennifer Hudson". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  31. ^ a b Willman, Chris (September 24, 2008). "Jennifer Hudson (2008)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  32. ^ a b Farber, Jim (September 30, 2008). "New Jennifer Hudson CD Is No Dreamgirls". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  33. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (September 27, 2008). "Jennifer Hudson". Slant Magazine. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  34. ^ "Jennifer Hudson: Jennifer Hudson". The Times. London. September 27, 2008. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  35. ^ "Jennifer Hudson by Jennifer Hudson". Metacritic. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
  36. ^ "10 Songwriters and Producer To Watch". Billboard. Google Books. April 10, 2010. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
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  38. ^ Roche, Jennifer. "Jennifer Hudson – Grammy Acceptance Speech 2009". Archived from the original on January 5, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  39. ^ Katie Hasty (October 8, 2008). T.I. Debuts Big Atop Billboard 200, Hot 100 Billboard. Accessed October 8, 2008.
  40. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  41. ^ "Jennifer Hudson to Drop 'Remember Me' Album Mar. 22". January 20, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
  42. ^ Jennifer Hudson – Jennifer Hudson – Music Charts αCharts. Accessed October 7, 2008.
  43. ^ "Music Week – Adele stays at top for albums". January 5, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  44. ^ " – Jennifer Hudson – Jennifer Hudson". Hung Medien. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  45. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 40, 2008". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  46. ^ " – Jennifer Hudson – Jennifer Hudson". Hung Medien. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  47. ^ "Oricon Top 50 Albums: {{{date}}}" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  48. ^ "Jennifer Hudson | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  49. ^ "Jennifer Hudson Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  50. ^ "Jennifer Hudson Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  51. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums - Year-End 2008". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  52. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Albums - Year-End 2007". Billboard. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  53. ^ "British album certifications – Jennifer Hudson – Jennifer Hudson". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Jennifer Hudson in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  54. ^ "American album certifications – Jennifer Hudson – Jennifer Hudson". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit