More than six months after Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew were killed in her family home in Chicago, Oscar-winning singer Jennifer Hudson is still reluctant to discuss the murders or their effect on her.
But the singer, who hit the road last week with Robin Thicke for her first string of dates in support of her self-titled debut album, did sit down with USA Today recently for one of her first interviews since the tragic events of October 24, and she told the paper she was keeping busy to maintain a positive mindset.
"I'm fine, I'm happy, I'm glad to be here," [artist id="2481017"]Hudson[/artist], 27, told the paper, without specifically addressing the murders.
"My family and friends have always called me a woman of faith," said the singer, who was raised Baptist, on how her religious convictions have helped her deal with the tragedy. "For my whole life, that has helped me get through everything."
For now, Hudson said she's focused on the theater tour, which she hopes will give fans a sense of "the evolution of Jennifer, where I'm from, how I became who I am." To that end, she performs a medley of songs from her 2007 Oscar-winning big-screen breakthrough, "Dreamgirls," plus songs from her debut and a medley of songs from other divas such as Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan.
Teaming with Thicke for the tour was a "no brainer," she said, since the two developed a chemistry when Thicke contributed some songwriting to Jennifer Hudson.
In the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, Hudson talks about how, despite the difficulty of being back in public, in some ways, performing is her only option. ''This is what I love to do, and I hate to sit still,'' she told the magazine. ''I have been active for the past four or five years, and to be working like that and then to just stop and all you hear is the clock ticking. ... That will drive you crazy.''
The singer has slowly started stepping out in recent months, performing the national anthem at the Super Bowl in February, taping a performance for an upcoming episode of "American Idol" and singing "You Pulled Me Through" at the Grammys in February. Asked why she chose that song about being saved from despair and darkness for one of her first performances since the murders, EW reportedly went blank and got quiet.
''I don't know what to tell you,'' she said. Hudson reportedly does not even discuss the murders with her closest friends and confidants. Her's estranged brother-in-law, William Balfour, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion in the crime.
''I try not to say anything about it,'' said childhood friend and longtime assistant, Walter Williams III, of the murders. ''She's OK as long as people don't bring it up. She's trying to put all of that behind her.''
Williams, though, has no doubt why Hudson performed ''You Pulled Me Through'' at the Grammys, or for whom it was intended. ''She was singing to God,'' he said. ''God pulled her through.'' The article also mentions that though she bought a condo on Chicago's Magnificent Mile soon after "Dreamgirls" in order to be near her family, she's since put it on the market and said, "I don't live in Chicago anymore."
Hudson already has her sights set on hitting the studio soon to begin work on her second album, and while she is proud of the "versatility" she displayed on her debut, she suspects the next effort will be more personal. "I want to be even more true to what I love and what inspired me as a musician," she told USA Today. "And that will require more writing. I want people to learn more about Jennifer."
She also said she plans to line up more acting gigs, but is taking her time finding the follow-up to her most recent gig, "The Secret Life of Bees."
"I get a lot of scripts, but it's not about how many films I can do; it's about the quality," she said. "I would love to do a comedy — that would be cool and different."
Another possibility is a Broadway musical, though she says that might be "in the next three or four years."