A Decade of Jennifer Hudson: From I Remember Me to Cats
We’re revisiting the last decade in the lives of our favorite Jennifers. Next up, Hudson, whose career took turns toward the unexpected (from Sandy Wexler to Cats).
Who else could star in an Adam Sandler movie the same year that she wins a Grammy? Jennifer Hudson’s career has proven more versatile than most, and the past decade has seen the singer slash actress volley between mediums and genres. Her style, too, evolved as the 2010s ticked on, with Hudson swapping body-con dresses and long layers for suits and pixie cuts.
Below see Hudson’s decade in review.
Early 2010s: 2010-2013
Career: After losing 80lbs, Hudson revealed she was the new spokesperson for Weight Watchers. Two years later she published an autobiography detailing her weight loss. In 2011, she played the titular lead in Winnie Mandela, opposite Terrence Howard. That same year, she released her second studio album, I Remember Me. Hudson closed out this period with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a performance in Black Nativity.
Personal: Hudson’s then-boyfriend David Otunga proposed to her in 2008. They remained engaged during this period.
Fashion: Hudson clung to sartorial tradition during this time, opting for ball gowns, body-con dresses, and long wavy hairstyles.
Mid 2010s: 2014-2016
Career: Hudson released her third studio album in 2014, the self-titled JHUD. She took on supporting roles in a few projects at this time, including Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq and HBO’s Anita Hill biopic Confirmation. She also lent her voice to the animated film Sing. In 2015, Hudson made her Broadway debut in The Color Purple.
Personal: After more than half a decade of engagement, Hudson began fielding the media’s “when are you getting married?” questions left and right. “We will get married one day, but again, my thing is once I get married, I don’t believe in divorce. So when I get married, it’s for good. We want to be completely sure we’re together, we’re happy,” she told Wendy Williams in 2014.
Fashion: The multi-hyphenate star took more fashion risks during this period. She began wearing her hair short, experimenting with colorful makeup and playful fashion.
Late 2010s: 2017-2019
Career: Hudson began this phase of her career with the type of project that is foreign to most great career phases: an Adam Sandler movie. Outside of Sandy Wexler, however, things were looking up. Hudson joined the judges’ panel on The Voice, won her second Grammy (!), and concluded the fruitful late 2010s with a starring role in the film adaptation of renowned musical Cats.
Personal: More than nine years after getting engaged, Hudson’s rep revealed that she and Otunga had separated and that she’d obtained a protective order against him. Nearly two years later, she and Otunga reached a custody agreement concerning their son, David Otunga Jr.
Fashion: Hudson brought a lot more variety to her hair, makeup, and wardrobe in the late 2010s. Her red carpet looks got trendier, and she got more experimental with her her hair color.
The Decade to Come:
Cats might not be the box office coup Hudson and the rest of the star-studded cast hoped it would be, but the American Idol alum’s resume is about to get a masterstroke of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. In 2020, Hudson will star in Aretha Franklin biopic Respect. The late Franklin hand-picked Hudson to play her, so you know it’s going to be good (and second Oscar-worthy?).