Jennifer Hudson (album)

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Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson - Jennifer Hudson (album).jpg
Studio album by Jennifer Hudson
Released September 27, 2008 (2008-09-27)
(see release history)
Recorded 2006–2008
Genre R&B, soul
Length 52:23
Label Arista/J Records
Producer Jim Beanz, Warryn Campbell, Rock City, Missy Elliott, Brian Kennedy, Ne-Yo, Polow da Don, Pro Jay, Salaam Remi, Jack Splash, Stargate, T-Pain, Tank, Robin Thicke, Timbaland, The Underdogs
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

Jennifer Hudson is the first album by the American actress and recording artist Jennifer Hudson. First released by Arista Records on September 27, 2008, in Australia, Hudson worked with a range of producers and songwriters on the album, including Rock City, Missy Elliott, Brian Kennedy, Ne-Yo, Salaam Remi, T-Pain, Tank, Timbaland and The Underdogs.

Released to a generally mixed reception by music critics, Jennifer Hudson debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart with first week sales of 217,000 copies. A commercial success, it was eventually certified gold by the RIAA for over 500,000 sold copies. Three singles were released from the album, including "Spotlight", which reached the top of the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and the top twenty of the UK Singles Chart.

Hudson promoted the album in a number of live appearances, including co-heading a North American concert tour with fellow R&B singer Robin Thicke between March and May 2009. The same year, Hudson won three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding New Artist, Outstanding Album and Outstanding Duo or Group for the album,[1] and was nominated for four Grammy Awards, winning in the Best R&B Album category.[2] A deluxe edition was released to iTunes on February 24, 2009.[3][4]


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 by the company's president, David Johnson, so that she could audition for the third season of the talent series American Idol in Atlanta.[5] 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.[6]

In November 2005, Hudson was cast in the role of Effie White for the film adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls, which also starred Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles and Eddie Murphy.[7] The filmmakers insisted on casting a relative unknown in the role, paralleling the casting of then-21-year-old Jennifer Holliday in that role for the original Broadway production.[7] 783 singing actresses auditioned for the role of Effie White, among them American Idol alumnae Hudson, Fantasia Barrino, the former Disney star Raven-Symoné, and the Broadway stars Capathia Jenkins and Patina Miller.[8] Hudson was eventually selected to play Effie, leading Barrino to telephone Hudson and jokingly complain that Hudson "stole [Barrino's] part".[9][10][11] Her performance earned her 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, which had earlier been recorded, and had already reached the status of musical standard, because of the definitive performance of Jennifer Holliday.[12][13] Her rendition entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 98 in the January 13, 2007, issue and was Hudson's first top 10 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; however, this was before she had been signed to a record label.[14] In late November 2006, it was announced that Hudson has signed a recording contract with the music mogul Clive Davis's J Records, a label of the Sony BMG music conglomerate.[15] 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."[15]

Release and promotion[edit]


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 album's second single, "If This Isn't Love", was released on February 24, 2009.[16] "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 failed to make much impact, though it 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.[17]

"Giving Myself", the third and final single from the album, was sent to US radio on June 2, 2009.[18] It charted on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at number 84.


Spring Tour with Robin Thicke
Hudson Thicke.jpg
Tour by Jennifer Hudson
Associated album Jennifer Hudson
Start date March 31, 2009
End date May 21, 2009
Shows 20 in North America

The "Spring Tour with Robin Thicke",[19] a tour to promote her album, began on March 31, 2009, in Albany, New York.[20][21] Due to strain on her vocal cords, Hudson has been instructed by her doctor to go on vocal rest, which led to several dates having to be rescheduled.[22]

Tour dates[edit]


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

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating 4.5/5 stars[25]
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[26]
Billboard (favorable)[27]
Boston Globe (positive)[28]
Chicago Tribune (mixed)[29]
Digital Spy 2/5 stars[30]
Entertainment Weekly (B-)[31]
New York Daily News 3/5 stars[32]
Slant Magazine 2.5/5 stars[33]
The Times 3/5 stars[34]

Jennifer Hudson received generally mixed to average 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."[25] 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".[27][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."[26]


Hudson's debut album quickly earned her some acclaim, as it received four Grammy Award nominations at the 51st Grammy Awards in 2009, including nods in the categories for Best R&B Album, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals along with Fantasia for "I'm His Only Woman", and both Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for lead single "Spotlight".[37] At the ceremony on February 8, 2009, where also she performed the song "You Pulled Me Through" on stage, she won the award for Best R&B Album. It marked Hudson's first ever Grammy Award.[38]

Commercial performance[edit]

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] According to RIAA Certification, the album sold more than 500,000 copies in the United States in the first 6 weeks. On November 7, 2008, her album was certified Gold by RIAA. By 2011, it 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 listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Spotlight"   Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Shaffer Smith Stargate, Ne-Yo 4:10
2. "If This Isn't Love"   Brian Kennedy, Theron Thomas, Timothy Thomas Brian Kennedy 3:36
3. "Pocketbook" (featuring Ludacris) Christopher Bridges, Hannon Lane, Timothy Mosley, Candice Nelson, James Washington Timbaland, Jim Beanz 3:18
4. "Giving Myself"   Robin Thicke Robin Thicke, Pro Jay 4:15
5. "What's Wrong (Go Away)" (featuring T-Pain) Sara Stokes Faheem Najm T-Pain 3:47
6. "My Heart"   Johntá Austin, Jamal Jones, Brian Kennedy, Jason Perry Polow da Don 3:33
7. "You Pulled Me Through"   Diane Warren Harvey Mason, Jr., Brian Kennedy 3:40
8. "I'm His Only Woman" (featuring Fantasia) Melissa Elliott, Jack Splash, Jazmine Sullivan, Missy Elliott, Jack Splash 4:18
9. "Can't Stop the Rain"   Amund Bjorklund, T. Hermansen, Espen Lind, M. Eriksen, Shaffer Smith Stargate, Ne-Yo 4:44
10. "We Gon' Fight"   Durrell Babbs, Antonio Dixon Tank 4:02
11. "Invisible"   Tiffany Fred, Steven Russell, The Underdogs The Underdogs 3:43
12. "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"   Tom Eyen, Henry Krieger The Underdogs 4:43
13. "Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There"   Traditional Warryn Campbell 4:24



Region Certification Sales/shipments
United Kingdom (BPI)[48] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[49] Gold 500,000^

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

Release history[edit]

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


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  4. ^ "iTunes – Music – Jennifer Hudson (Deluxe Edition) by Jennifer Hudson". February 24, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
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  8. ^ Murray, Jawn (26 December 2006). "BVBuzz". AOL Black Voices. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
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  19. ^ Meet Jennifer Hudson on Tour!
  20. ^ "Information Not Found". Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
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  22. ^ "Tour Dates Re-Scheduled – Update | The Official Jennifer Hudson Site". Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
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  43. ^ "Music Week – Adele stays at top for albums". January 5, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-16. 
  44. ^ Chartifacts week 41 ARIA. Retrieved October 12, 2008.
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  48. ^ "British album certifications – Jennifer Hudson – Jennifer Hudson". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Jennifer Hudson in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  49. ^ "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 links[edit]