Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jennifer Hudson in the Advocate Magazine

Jennifer Hudson Takes Back Her Spotlight

Whether you first fell in love with Jennifer Hudson on American Idol or it took you until her Oscar-winning turn in Dreamgirls to jump on the bandwagon, there's no denying that the sassy girl with the big voice has a huge gay following. Now, after years of waiting, Hudson is getting back to what she does best... with her self-titled, debut album.

By Clay Cane
An exclusive posted September 26, 2008
Chances are, if you're a fan of American Idol, your love affair with Jennifer Hudson began long before she took command of the silver screen with her Oscar-winning turn in Dreamgirls. For me, it was her performance of Elton John’s “Circle of Life” on season three. Her performance was riveting and it was clear the Illinois diva with the big afro (who misses that afro?) and annihilating voice would be a star. In the years since, Hudson has gone beyond the stars, but she hasn’t forgotten her gay fans along the way.

Jennifer Hudson has become a fabric of the gay community in the way of Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Diana Ross. In only a few short years, Hudson has garnered a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild award, Oscar, and the honor of being Carrie Bradshaw’s assistant! With all the accolades, it’s hard to believe that the Midwestern girl who made Effie White an Oscar-winning character is just releasing her highly-anticipated, self-titled, debut album on Tuesday.

“It was a year and a half process of recording,” says Hudson. “I got to work with amazing people like Missy Elliot, Diane Warren, and also led by Clive Davis.” Her first single, “Spotlight,” is already a top-ten hit on the Billboard dance charts and the buzz for the new album is foreshadowing another award-winning success.

The former Advocate cover girl couldn’t let an album release go by without chatting about the music, her commitment to the gay community, and more. What can your gay fans expect from the new album?

Jennifer Hudson: My gay fans can expect just me, Jennifer. The gay community has always accepted me so I can only give more of that. Big notes, big vocals!

Did you have your gay audience in mind when making the album?

I did! We actually did a lot of songs that were for my gay fans. Not everything made the album. We didn't want to leave anybody out. We tried to make sure we had something on there for everybody, most importantly, the gay community.

Ludacris, one of the guest artists on your album, has had anti-gay lyrics in his music. How do you reconcile that with your gay fan base?

You know what, I have never heard of that. I was never aware of that at all. To be honest, I don't know what to say to that. What's interesting is I think the gay community would love him! [Laughs] Like I said, I never knew that.

How do you explain this fascination gay men have with Jennifer Hudson?

I've been trying to figure it out for years! [Laughs] I don't know, but I love it and I'm glad. I can only remain true and try to do whatever I'm doing so I can hold onto that. But, I still don't know -- I wish I could figure it out!

Is there anything challenging about having such an aggressive gay following?

Living up to their expectations. My thing is if the gay community thinks I am fierce then I must be fierce! The expectations are high and you can't half-step, it has got to be right.

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