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One of the more talented, respected stars in all of Hollywood turns 31 years old today.

And we send our very best wishes to Jennifer Hudson on this special occasion!

The Oscar winner and former American Idol finalist has showed truly incredible strength in the face of incomprehensible personal pain over the last few years, following the murders of her mother, brother and nephew. She even said in an interview this week that she can't totally blame William Balfour for committing the crime.

Set to recur on Smash Season 2 in early 2013, the professional future is bright for this singer/actress. We wish her the absolute best.

Jennifer Hudson Photograph

Other famous folks celebrating a birthday today include: Ruben Studdard (34), Benjamin McKenzie (34), Paul Walker (39) and George Jones (81).

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During an interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, Jennifer Hudson touched on William Balfour, the man convicted of killing her mother, brother and nephew in October 2008.

Showing incredible perspective and a capacity for forgiveness, the Oscar winner said she doesn't entirely blame the ex-husband of her sister Julia for the horrendous crime he committed.

"For the most part, it's not his fault," Hudson said. "It's what he was taught, how he was brought up."

Balfour "never had a chance," Hudson believes, due to his difficult upbringing. She even addressed the killer directly, sending him the following message during this sit-down:

"Had you had the love my mother gave us, or the background that, you know, some have, then you would've stood a chance."

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by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Jennifer Hudson has lost 80 pounds. It's an impressive figure to read, but it's an even more impressive figure to gawk at.

And the former American Idol finalist/Oscar winner has now given followers just that opportunity, releasing a Twit pic of herself flexing... in nothing but lingerie!

Jennifer Hudson in Lingerie

Hudson included the picture as part of an online pose-off with finace - and professional wrestler - David Otunga and, we must admit, we're darn impressed.

How about you? Study the shape closely and decide: Would you hit it?

 

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Jennifer Hudson is bringing her incredible pipes and her impressive acting ability to Smash.

The Oscar-winning former American Idol favorite has signed on for her first extended television role, multiple sources confirm, coming on board Smash Season 2 as Veronica, a veteran Broadway star who will cause problems for Megan Hilty's Ivy and Katharine McPhee's Karen.

Hey, Jennifer Hudson!

Smash got off to a big start for NBC and then faltered tremendously, both in the ratings and in the eyes of critics.

It has since replaced its showrunner, let three main cast members go and, along with Hudson, signed Jeremy Jordan of Newsies as a series regular. Look for new episodes to air in January.

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Following the conviction of William Balfour for murdering three members of her family, Jennifer Hudson released a statement that passed along prayers to Balfour's family and thanked her fans for their love and support.

At a charity event in New York for the Samsung Hope for Children last night, meanwhile, Hudson spoke out about the verdict for the first time.

Jennifer Hudson in NYC

"It's definitely changed me and put me in the mindset of a mom, and, as before, it makes you think of the future of our children," Hudson told E! News, bringing the topic back to the cause at hand and also her own charity, the Julian King Foundation. "This is the perfect place to do that; it's like starting a new beginning and closing a chapter."

Jennifer's charity benefits underprivileged children in the Chicago area and she will hold a fundraiser for it on her late nephew's birthday, August 14.

But Hudson is also focused on her future as an artist and a singer.

"I'm getting started on my third album this summer, and I have a few films in the works. I'm now just getting back out there and into my rhythm again, so one day at a time."

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Not long after William Balfour was found guilty of murdering her mother, brother and nephew, Jennifer Hudson released an email statement regarding the tragedy as a whole.

Hudson in Court

“We have felt the love and support from people all over the world, and we’re very grateful,” Hudson and sister Julia said, extending a prayer “from the Hudson family to the Balfour family" because "we have all suffered a terrible loss in this tragedy."

Quoting Scripture, the Hudson sisters concluded:

"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). It is our prayer that the Lord will forgive Mr. Balfour of these heinous acts and bring his heart into repentance someday."

Balfour faces life in prison, and his attorney plans to appeal her client's multiple convictions next month.

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William Balfour - the former brother-in-law of Jennifer Hudson who was arrested for killing her mother, brother and nephew - has been found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder.

William Balfour Booking Photo

Hudson (along with her fiancé and sister) was inside the courtroom when the verdict was read and sources tell E! News they sat silently throughout.

Balfour did not testify on his own behalf, although the Oscar winner did take the stand early on in the trial and broke down in tears at one point.

In addition to the murder charges, Balfour was found guilty of home invasion, residential burglary, aggravated kidnapping and possession of a stolen vehicle. He faces life in prison.

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

Jessica Sanchez gets major points for showing confidence and taking risks this season on American Idol.

First, the singer covered Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," as challenging a track as there could be for a contestant to attempt.

Then, last night, she went with "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," the iconic single that essentially won Jennifer Hudson an Oscar in Dreamgirls. We've linked to Jessica's performance in this sentence, and we've posted Hudson's version below, and now we're asking:

WHO SINGS IT BETTER?

 

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The 911 call made by Jennifer Hudson's sister, upon finding the body of her murdered mother, was released today in court.

The heartbreaking evidence is being used by the defense in its case against William Balfour, who is on trial for killing Hudson's mother, brother and nephew. And the portions played for the jury were as heartbreaking as you can imagine.

"Help, please," Julia Hudson is heard telling a 911 operator. "Oh, God. Somebody's killed my mother, somebody's killed my mother... Please help me. Oh my God, oh my God... please... please... can you please send an ambulance, please. Oh my God."

Grammy Tribute

The call lasts about three minutes, with Julia saying she just arrived home from work and detailing how there's "blood coming from her her heard" and a "bullet hole in our front door."

Jennifer Hudson took the stand last week and broke down in tears when shown a photo of her mother. She then exited the courtroom a day later when attorneys broke out a picture of her nephew's corpse.

by Hilton Hater at . Comments

A day after taking the stand in the murder case against William Balfour - and breaking down when a photo of her mom was presented - Jennifer Hudson couldn't handle being in the same room with the man accused of killing her relatives.

Jennifer Hudson on Dateline

Witnesses tell TMZ Hudson excused herself from the legal proceedings when prosecutors pulled out crime scene photos of Jennifer's seven-year old nephew Julian, who was allegedly shot by Balfour in a fit of rage.

He is also on trial for murdering Hudson's mother and brother.

David Otunga, Jennifer's fiance and the father of her son, remained inside the courtroom after Hudson departed and, insiders say, jotted down notes about the crime scene. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Jennifer and her family.

Jennifer Hudson Biography

Jennifer Hudson, Julian King Jennifer Hudson is a former American Idol star AND Oscar winner. No one else on the planet can make that claim. Granted American Idol has... More »
Born
Birthplace
Chicago, Illinois
Full Name
Jennifer Kate Hudson
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