Kanye West U.K. Protégé Mr. Hudson Celebrates His Debut

By Jett Wells

In promoting his new album and U.S. debut, Britain's Auto-Tune phenomenon Mr. Hudson greeted press and industry folk at a private listening event at New York's Spotted Pig restaurant last night. The intimate crowd of 20 VIPs celebrated Mr. Hudson's arrival on domestic shores with a few cocktails and a first listen to his debut album Straight No Chaser.

Mr. Hudson (neé Ben Hudson) was discovered by Kanye West, and the two have collaborated on a handful of projects. Mr. Hudson has co-produced Kanye hits like "Flashing Lights" and added back-up vocals to "Say You Will" and "Amazing." In return, Kanye co-produced Hudson's album and dropped in for a guest spot on the single "Supernova."

Although Hudson is very proud to have worked with Kanye, he doesn't want to live in his shadow. "I didn't want people to think I was some British [expletive] picked up by Kanye," Hudson said. "I'm my own man."

That's not to say he doesn't value his work with West. "My proudest moments were in Hawaii when we first started recording." Although this is Hudson's second album overall, he still feels funny being in the spotlight. "I've spent more time driving the bus and handing out fliers than doing this."

Hudson's Straight No Chaser is set to drop August 3, and the new single "Supernova" will be available for digital download on July 20.