Suck it, Fantasia Barrino. Though Chicago soul singer Jennifer Hudson only made it to the finals of “American Idol” in 2004, she won an Oscar at age 25 for her performance as tormented second-banana Effie White in 2007’s Dreamgirls—earning the dubious honour of first reality show participant to win an Academy Award. (Suck it, Meryl Streep.) While a shocking personal tragedy late last year kept Hudson off the radar, 2009 is clearly her time to snag the spotlight. Shlepping a glitchy self-titled debut co-produced by Timbaland and Missy Elliot, Hudson’s been singing her heart out at the Democratic National Convention, Superbowl, and now Madison Square Garden. Alan Thicke’s son is merely icing.
Fri., April 10, 8 p.m., 2009