Jennifer Hudson Tackles The Art of Juggling Music and Movies This Fall

“It is risky, because people expect you to just do one thing” of her debut which covers everything from pop to R&B and even gospel. As an Academy Award-winning actress and an American Idol alum, Hudson knows all about proving herself, she says “I’m going to take the chance and show what else is a part of me.” “Jennifer Hudson” – the album, features “Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There” — a gospel tribute to the singer’s days in the church choir — and “You Pull Me Through,” a track that Diane Warren penned for Hudson’s lung-busting balladeer side. The album will also include the classic “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from “Dreamgirls” and “All Dressed in Love” from the recent “Sex and the City” soundtrack. Besides Warren, the collaborators on the album include Ludacris, Robin Thicke, Rock City, Timbaland, Tank and the Underdogs. The first single, “Spotlight,” was written by R&B star Ne-Yo. Under consideration for the second single is the sassy collaboration with Ludacris, “Pocketbook,” on which Hudson coyly threatens to use her purse to whump a man who crosses the line between flirting and leering. The track was written by the Clutch and produced by Timbaland, and when Hudson was recording the song in London, Ludacris just happened to be in the studio and offered his services. “He’s like, ‘I gotta get on that,”‘ Hudson recalls. The label hopes that the album’s diversity will lend it appeal across the broad spectrum of Hudson’s fans, from moviegoers to those who still pen irate blog posts about her ejection during the third season of “American Idol.” In a way, the album does demonstrate the versatility Hudson showed on the reality show, where she went from singing “(Love Is Like a) Heatwave” by Martha & the Vandellas one week to Elton John’s “Circle of Life” the next. There is, of course, one key difference: “With ‘Idol,’ you only get a minute or so to sing a song,” Hudson says. “You can’t show all your talent in that moment. With each experience you try to show more and more and more.” She returns to acting with the October 17 release of Fox Searchlight’s “The Secret Life of Bees,” based on the best-selling 2002 novel by Sue Monk Kidd. Set in 1964 in North Carolina, it stars Alicia Keys, Queen Latifah and Sophie Okonedo as a trio of beekeeping sisters who take in Lily, portrayed by Dakota Fanning, and her nanny, Rosaleen . “Bees” will have its world premiere at the influential Toronto Film Festival in September. “I remember doing ‘Dreamgirls,”‘ Hudson says. “I would look at Beyonce, because she was doing acting and singing, and I’m like, ‘How the hell can she do that?’ Now I’m looking at it like, ‘Oh, God, all right, if she can do it, if Jamie and Queen can do it, then it means it can be done.”‘

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