By Hana Asbrink
Updated Sep 12, 2017 @ 6:00 am
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iamjhud/Instagram

Happy birthday, Jennifer Hudson! The star, who always manages to give us hair envy as she goes shorter and shorter with her fierce 'dos, turns 36 today.

Hudson may have become known to the public after appearing on the third season of American Idol, but it wasn't until her breakthrough role in the film adaptation of Dreamgirls—for which she'd win multiple awards (including an Oscar!) for her electric performance—that she really shot to meteoric fame.

The powerful performer has shown her mettle over the years off-stage as well. Hudson may no longer be an official Weight Watchers spokesperson, but her incredible 80-plus-pound weight loss journey over the years still is an inspiring one.

She's got talent, drive, and a beautiful family with fiancé David Otunga, impressive in his own right as a professional WWE wrestler and Harvard Law School grad. Their adorable 8-year-old son, David Daniel Otunga Jr., is the apple of his parents' eyes, flooding each of their Instagram feeds with proud moments.

Celebrate JHud’s special day with some precious snaps of her family: