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Jennifer Hudson Owes Her Dead Brother And Fiance Her Life

January 02, 2012 11:30 AM by Amelia Cooper

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson, of Fox’s American Idol fame, recently opened up about how she is truly grateful for two of the most important men in her life. In an interview with Dateline, Jennifer Hudson explains that her fiance, David Otunga, literally saved her life, while her dead brother, Jason Hudson, inspired her to make her famous Superbowl performance in 2009.

Tragedy struck the Hudson family in October 2008, when Jennifer Hudson’s brother Jason Hudson, mother Darnell Donnerson, and nephew Julian King were shot to death in their Chicago home. Police arrested William Balfour, the estranged husband of Jennifer Hudson’s sister Julia, who has pleaded not guilty to the murders and awaits trial this February.

Jennifer Hudson was on her way to spend the evening with her family, when her fiance called and asked if she’d spend the evening with him instead. David Otunga’s  invitation, which she accepted, literally saved her life.

But after the murders, Jennifer Hudson wasn’t sure how she could go on. She was approached to sing the American National Anthem at the Super Bowl, which would be her first public performance since the murders. As she struggled with the decision, she heard her brother’s voice, “‘Jennifer’, he would always say, ‘Knock it off, Jenny’, if I was cryin’ about somethin’ or if I was upset, discouraged, mad, ‘Jenny, knock it off’.”

Jennifer Hudson knew he was right, “And it’s like, ‘OK, well, what [would] they want me to do? I can either just sit here and mope around, or do what I know that would make them proud’. And that’s what I did.”

Jennifer Hudson’s comeback performance has sparked her both professionally and personally. In addition to a successful singing career, she’s recently lost 80 lbs and is releasing a book about her lifelong weight struggles entitled I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me.

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Photo Courtesy of Fox

Topics: American Idol, FOX Reality TV Shows, Jennifer Hudson |

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