A hometown girl makes Chicago proud once again

Jennifer Hudson has made people recognize her serious talent, and continues to remind them where she’s from.

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Jennifer Hudson poses for a portrait at The Peninsula Chicago Hotel in Chicago on August 2021.

Jennifer Hudson poses for a portrait at The Peninsula Chicago Hotel in Chicago on August 2021.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

“Jennifer Hudson from Chicago, Illinois.”

That is how Randy Jackson introduced the 21-year-old singer from Englewood to the world in 2003 on American Idol.

Back then, even after demonstrating undeniable powerhouse vocals, Hudson’s future as a singer seemed questionable. She didn’t even reach the top five on the competition reality TV show — a result that would probably make most people return to their day job.

Hudson didn’t quit on her dreams, but she did get to work. Now, the hometown girl who eventually made good in movies and music has made Chicago proud once again.

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Hudson secured EGOT stature when a show for which she served as a producer, “A Strange Loop,” won best musical on Sunday at the Tony Awards. She’s just the 17th person in history to win all four major entertainment accolades — an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and now a Tony.

Not surprising, when you think about Hudson’s career.

Shortly after American Idol, Hudson held her own in “Dreamgirls” alongside established performers such as Eddie Murphy, Beyonce and Jamie Foxx. She won the Oscar for best supporting actress in 2007 for her role as Effie White.

In 2009, Hudson won her first Grammy for best R&B album. She won a second Grammy eight years later. She won a Daytime Emmy as an executive producer for an interactive animated short film, “Baby Yaga.”

“This is still home. There’s no place like home. People are always, like, ‘What are you doing here? Are you singing here? ...’” Hudson said in an interview last year with Sun-Times movie critic Richard Roeper. “And I’m, like, ‘I live here, I’m from here.’ People have this perception that all celebrities live in Hollywood or New York. But, no, Chicago is my home and always will be.”

Congratulations, J-Hud.

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