Chicago native Jennifer Hudson celebrated the holidays by feting Michigan Avenue Magazine at the House of Blues on Tuesday, December 4, 2012, marking the second time former American Idol contestant has appeared as the publication’s cover girl.
The invitation-only event, dubbed “A Hudson Holiday,” required that all attendees bring a new unwrapped book or toy for donation to the Julian D. King Gift Foundation. The Foundation, started in honor of Hudson’s late nephew, helps Chicago children in need. Magazine president and publisher Dan Uslan and Editor-in-Chief JP Anderson presented a $10,000 check to the Foundation.
Hudson, who recently observed the fourth anniversary of the murders of her mother, brother and nephew, said she was “honored” to again appear on the magazine’s cover. Strutting her now-famous svelte Weight Watchers figure in skyscraper Charlotte Olympia heels, Hudson performed a set list that included a medley of Whitney Houston songs. "How Will I Know" was also peppered with Michael Jackson's 80s' hit "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," during which she also invited audience members to dance with her. "Show me what you got," she coaxed. When one would-be dancer rose to the challenge, Hudson marveled, "Oh, my Weight Watchers don't go that far, now!"
Opening for the Academy-, Grammy-, and Golden Globe-award winner was The Voice finalist Jamar Rogers. Like Hudson, Rogers has gracefully weathered tragedy: He's turned his former addiction to meth and subsequent revelation of contracting HIV into a song of hope called “High,” from his upcoming EP, released on iTunes the same day.
Before her performance, Hudson walked the red carpet with her sister, Julia, mother of Julian King. Chicago Bear Israel Idonije also joined the festivities.
All photos shot by Cindy Barrymore
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