On Monday night's episode of "Behind the Music," [artist id="2481017"]Jennifer Hudson[/artist] openly discussed the tragic October 2008 murders of her mother, brother and nephew for the first time, describing that time as "surreal."
"It's all a blur. It was surreal," she said in the episode. "It was like I was outside of myself. For almost two weeks straight ... [I was] inside one room with just family and friends coming in and out. I prayed when I'd get up in the morning and prayed before I laid down at night."
Not long after Hudson got engaged to David Otunga and released her debut album, the bodies of Hudson's mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson, 57, and older brother, Jason, 29, were discovered inside the home Hudson grew up in on Chicago's South Side. Julian King, Hudson's 7-year-old nephew, was reported missing soon after. His body was later discovered in an SUV on Chicago's West Side. All three victims died from multiple gunshot wounds. William Balfour, the estranged husband of Hudson's sister Julia, was charged with the murders.
Hudson remained relatively low-profile after the murders until the 2009 Grammys, where she performed "You Pulled Me Through." "I was definitely thinking of my family when I was singing that song," she said. "I could hear my brother in my head, like, 'Jennifer, you need to kill this, you need to get up and do it.' I knew he would be disappointed if I didn't do it justice."
Since that time in her life she said, "I feel like I've lived about three or four different lives," adding that her son, David Jr., "reminds me of my nephew." "In so many ways I channel [my mother] because she was such a great mom." She said her son "makes me feel like the most special person on earth. I want him to get the same love and the same upbringing my mother gave us."