Hudson performs small show at Paris Club

September 21, 2011 9:51:28 PM PDT
Oscar and Grammy winning performer Jennifer Hudson is back in Chicago. Late Tuesday night she lit up the stage at an intimate concert for fans.

ABC7's Cheryl Burton had the chance to talk with her about the career she loves and the hometown connection she cherishes.

Hudson is back home and back in a big way! Our very own dream girl is feeling good and glad to be where she says she truly belongs.

"There's nothing more rewarding than singing in your hometown or going off and being successful and being able to come back and bring it back home," Hudson said. "It'sa completely different feeling singing at home, and I've been blessed with going a bit all over. There's no place like home."

It is obvious the Oscar and Grammy winner is in a good place, mentally and spiritually, but we had to talk about how good the South Side native looks physically. She credits her new outlook on life and Weight Watchers for the dramatic transformation.

"I had no idea when I started my weight-loss journey that so many people were watching it and would be inspired from it," said Hudson ."That's why I picked it as my greatest achievement."

Hudson says this has been a banner year for her, including celebrating the president's golden birthday in Chicago last month.

"I had the crowd join in, like, 'Everybody, sing happy birthday!' And again it was an honor," said Hudson.

As we talked, J. Hud virtually glowed in her conversation and even more so when the music pours out. You can tell she is living her very own dream especially when she dotes on her 2-year-old son David.

"He is the greatest joy, he's just as busy as he could be, all those things," Hudson said. "He wrestles like his father. He even wrestled me down."

"When daddy's around he wants to sing, and when mommy's around he wants to wrestle, and it's like - can we switch and sing with mommy and wrestle with daddy?" she said.

As for more children, Hudson said: "Give me at least another two, three years and then ask me that question again."

Hudson says singing was a source of healing after losing her mom, brother and nephew nearly two years ago. She says the memories of her mother inspire her every day.

"I follow my mom's example, and having kids lets you know just how much your mother loves you. I had my baby, and it reminds me of all the things my mother raised me," said Hudson.

Hudson's sense of gratitude is extended to her fans, and that's why she is doing intimate performances around the country to say thank you for the support over the years.

Hudson took the entire month of August off after a grueling summer. She said it was difficult, but now she's back doing what she loves in the city where it all began.

She says a new single was written with her hometown in mind.

"It represents Chicago because it says, 'I'm from the South Side, trying to get to my goal, and I was speaking of the South Side of Chicago, 'cause that's where I'm from," said Hudson.

Hudson will be performing at the Michael Jackson Tribute Concert in Wales in October. Another upcoming project is a movie with director John Singleton.

"I'm excited about it - it's a very different role for me - I'm going to play a heroin addict, and so it's going to be challenging, and it's going to be different, and i love to exercise and try different new things," said Hudson.

The South Side native says her family continues to keep her grounded and give her support.

"My famiy has always been supportive of me, long before the world knew who I was, and I love them for that - no matter what I did, what I'm doing, in every way, they have always been supportive, and I just love to share everything I do with them."

Hudson also said her dramatic weight loss journey is one of her greatest achievements - she says it has inspired others to live healthier lives.

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