She has also appeared in such films as Sex and the City, The Secret Life of Bees and Black Nativity.
The film also received eight nominations at the 2009 NAACP Image Awards, including a nomination for Hudson for her performance.In 2009, Hudson starred as Kathy Archenault in Fragments, a film based on the novel by Roy Freirich, with Dakota Fanning and Forest Whitaker.In October 2008, after Hudson's mother, brother and nephew were killed in a shooting, Hudson stepped out of the public eye for three months.Hudson resumed her public appearances in 2009, with high-profile performances at Super Bowl XLIII, the Grammy Awards, American Idol, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.In November 2005, Hudson was cast in the role of Effie White for the film adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls, which also starred Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles and Eddie Murphy.
The role, originally created in a Broadway performance by Jennifer Holliday, Filming of Dreamgirls began on January 9, 2006, and the film went into limited release on December 25, 2006, and national release on January 12, 2007.
Her debut album Jennifer Hudson, released in 2008, debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold by the RIAA, with sales exceeding a million copies worldwide.
The record was nominated for four Grammy Awards, winning the 2009 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.
In January 2002, Hudson signed her first recording contract with Righteous Records, a Chicago-based independent record label.
She was released from her five-year contract with Righteous Records so that she could appear on American Idol in 2004.
She rose to fame in 2004 as a finalist on the third season of American Idol, coming in seventh place.