From Dust to Dreams: Opening Night at The Smith Center For The Performing Arts 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)
An urban Cinderella from a modern American fairy tale, singer-actress Jennifer Hudson's immense natural talent and strength of character took her from anonymity to stardom via the conduit of a reality-TV competition. Audiences were stunned when Hudson, a clear fan favorite, was unanimously dismissed from "American Idol" (Fox, 2002- ) near the end of season three. Her revenge came a few short years later, however, when her bravura performance in "Dreamgirls" (2006) - both as a vocalist and an actress - not only silenced her doubters, but won Hudson a slew of accolades, including a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. Continued successes, including a Grammy-winning, self-titled debut album and appearances in films like "Sex and the City" (2008) and "The Secret Life of Bees" (2008), were dampened significantly by the tragic murders of her mother, brother and nephew in 2008. Following a period of grieving and contemplation, a resilient Hudson returned with more film projects, a second album - <i>I Remember Me</i> - and a greatly slimmed down physique, thanks in part to <i>Weight Watchers</i>, for whom she became a spokesperson in 2010. Vindicated through triumph and tested by tragedy, Hudson continued to earn the respect of her peers and the loyalty of her fans, all of whom began to suspect there was little beyond the range of the supremely talented performer.