Jennifer Hudson: I have never taken alcohol in my entire life. These days, our knowledge of celebrities too often originates with paparazzi images and snarky quotes by anonymous “insiders.” After a while, it’s easy to forget that stars are real people. When she auditioned for “American Idol” in 2004, a fresh-faced Jennifer Hudson admitted to the judges that she had just finished work singing on a Disney cruise ship. “We’re going to expect something better than a cruise ship performance, right, today?” Randy Jackson grilled her. “Yeah, definitely that,” Hudson said.
Ten years later, with a couple of Grammys and an Oscar under her belt, 32-year-old Hudson has come full circle: she’s one of the marquee names set to perform at 49 port stops for the Carnival LIVE Concert Series in the next year, joining the likes of Gavin DeGraw, Jewel and Lady Antebellum as part of the cruise company’s effort to spice up their already wildly popular vacation packages. Before a powerful performance at New York’s The Cutting Room, where she sang favourites such as “One Night Only” and “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” Hudson took some time out of her increasingly busy schedule to talk to Huffington Post Celebrity’s reporters. Excerpts: ON PAGE2