Jennifer Hudson reflects on her 20-year ‘American Idol’ anniversary

Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

In August 2003, a 21-year-old Jennifer Hudson traveled from Chicago to Atlanta to audition for American Idol. Now, at 41, she’s reflecting on the 20 years its been since she made that life-changing trip.

She took to Instagram with a clip of her audition where, in front of original show judges Randy JacksonPaula Abdul and Simon Cowell, she sang a portion of Aretha Franklin‘s “Share Your Love with Me.”

“It was on this very day in 2003 that my best friend @wallybean1 and I traveled all the way to Atlanta, Georgia for my American Idol audition ! 20 years, yal! Look at God !” she captioned her post. 

She continued, “I hopped on that American Idol roller coaster and it has been going ever since !”

Hudson said she’s “lived a lot of life” since she made her Idol debut, but even with the great amount of success she’s gained over the years, much about her hasn’t changed. 

“I’m still that same girl from the South Side of Chicago trying to get to my goals !” she said. “Thank u all for being on this journey with me !”

Although Jackson voted her the “best singer” after her audition performance, she went on to place seventh in the competition, only to lose against powerhouse singer Fantasia Barrino

Throughout Hudson’s career, she gained numerous awards and earned EGOT status in 2022 after winning the Tony for her work as a producer on A Strange Loop.

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