Last month when Tom Ford launched his Black Orchid fragrance at a lavish party in New York, some fashionistas in attendance were surprised by his choice of entertainment: a relatively unknown singer with the unstarry name of Jennifer Hudson, whose sexy curves challenge the culture's preference for rail-thin celebrities. But after completing her soulful four-song set, the almond-eyed chanteuse had made believers out of the hard-to-please crowd. "She's going to be a major star," decreed Ford at the time. "David Geffen is a friend of mine. I saw a cut of the movie and asked her to do this."
We know now, of course, that "the movie" Ford was referencing is the much hyped silver-screen adaptation of Dreamgirls, which hits theaters in New York, L.A., and San Francisco on December 15. The film, which has been adapted from the Broadway show and is based loosely on the story of the Supremes, stars Hudson in the lead role of Effie White. Not bad for a 25-year-old whose only previous experience in front of the camera came as a finalist on season three of American Idol. Even more impressive is the award season buzz that's surrounding her performanceproof that she held her own, and then some, against her considerably more famous co-stars Beyoncé Knowles and Jamie Foxx.
We predict that Christmas will come early this year for the Chicago native with the Aretha Franklin voice, specifically when the Golden Globe nominations are announced next week.