HOLLYWOOD — Of the singer/actors starring in the upcoming "Dreamgirls" movie, some have had massive success in both fields (Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx), and some have not (Eddie Murphy).
Jennifer Hudson is working hard to be in the first category.
The "American Idol" third-season finalist, who plays Effie White in "Dreamgirls" — the story of a girl group that's based on the Tony-winning Broadway musical of the same name — finished her debut album before filming even began, and is only delaying its release so it can come out around the same time as the movie (see "Beyonce Slimming Down And 'Completely Becoming Deena' ").
"I spent six months recording in Orlando, Florida, with Renn Music Productions," Hudson said, referring to the production team that has worked with 'NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys. "We wrote 30 songs, we recorded 20 out of the 30 and now we need to narrow it down. We want to pick out the right style."
The right style, judging by the music posted on Renn Music and Hudson's Web sites, is club-ready R&B with big hooks and even bigger vocals. The only significant change to the album might come if JHud (as she refers to herself on one song) can convince Beyoncé or Foxx to get on a track. "That might happen — wait and see," she said.
In the meantime, Hudson's still in shock she got to make the movie, which opens around Christmastime (see "Jamie Foxx Raves About Beyonce, Ribs Eddie Murphy At 'Dreamgirls' Event").
"Oh my God, it was a dream, every day going from different transitions, different costumes, different hair, different time frames, time frames when I wasn't even born," Hudson said. "I felt like my mom. I was thinking, 'Is this what she looked like?' And then to get to work with Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy."
So she wasn't intimidated by the movie's star power?
"No, because they are all such humble and sweet people," Hudson said. "And then there's Bill Condon [who wrote "Chicago" and directed "Kinsey"], who is the greatest director in life. To work alongside of them and to have them as mentors and to look up to, they made it so comfortable. Jamie was so helpful, and Beyoncé, every last one of them. I could not ask for a better cast."
Hudson has yet to name a title, first single or release date for her debut album, but it's likely to hit within weeks of "Dreamgirls."
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