For Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, the last few years have included both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
It is those experiences that have influenced her second album, “I Remember Me” , which was released last Tuesday. The CD’s first single, “Where You Are” was produced and written by R. Kelly and has been getting airplay on the nation’s radio stations since January. The album also includes contributions from hitmakers Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Ne-Yo and Stargate.
Hudson says that the CD’s title comes from a poem that she wrote, which was turned into a song by One Republic frontman Ryan Tedder. The song, which is also on the record, is a reflection of the artist’s last few years, she said.
“I’m excited about this album because it’s almost like a renewal for me, reflected through the chapters of my life,” Hudson said in a press release. “My fans have been so loyal, I feel like they have been on this journey with me and I can’t wait for them to hear the new album. I’ve called it I Remember Me because of the journey I’ve been on,” she said.
Hudson recently appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, looking great, addressing her mother, brother, and nephew’s tragic murders in 2008. The actress got emotional when discussing the crimes with Winfrey for the first time. Said Hudson, “The only thing I can do to honor their memory is to make them proud.” And that “her family and God have helped her get through the more trying moments.”
The 29-year-old star – whose mother Darnell Donnerson was murdered in October 2008 along with her brother Jason Hudson and 7-year-old nephew Julian – admitted she constantly thinks about her late mother… especially when it comes to 19-month-old son David, her child with fiancée and professional wrestler David Otunga.
Hudson admits that much of her parenting style is based on her mother’s.
“That’s the example, that’s what I go by, ” she said. “Like ‘what would my mom do? How did she do it?’ “Even when I’m bouncing him on my knee, you know?”
The Weight Watchers spokesmodel (she lost 80 pounds on the plan) is also filming the biopic “Winnie” with co-star Terrence Howard, which is based on the life of South African Icon Winnie Mandela. The film was supposed to premier last year and the trailer was running all over the Internet, but so far no date has been set for the film’s release.
While no one connected to the film is talking, Shadow and Art, a website devoted to the African Diaspora, has placed the following theory on its “Milk Carton Alert” section:
“And then there’s the Jennifer Hudson/Terrence Howard film based on the life of Winnie Mandela, titled ‘Winnie.’ As many of you will probably recall, we debuted the trailer on this site late last year, and it quickly spread across the web, attracting nothing but derision and revulsion. It was almost universally ridiculed and panned, which led the South African production team to immediately pull it off the web. It was a little too late though. By then it had already been seen by tens of thousands of people, if not more. Our trailer alone, as a sample, was played just over 16,000 times! Nope, the filmmakers weren’t too pleased with the reaction. As for whether all that excitement made them reconsider releasing the film is anyone’s guess; or at least, maybe think about re-shooting some scenes, or re-cutting the film… or something. But nothing has been heard of the film since last falls debacle. No specific release date is listed either. And no response from the film’s reps.”