Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson hosted a mini-concert and raises the standards for all the following online sessions, in an Instagram live video posted yesterday, March 25.

J. Hud

(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

Jennifer Hudson delivered soulful performances of popular songs "The Impossible Dream" and "Memory" in an Instagram live video, March 25


The "Dreamgirls" star opened on high energy and waited for a few minutes for her audience to "get their seats", reading and even singing some of the comments to the equally lively accompaniment courtesy of pianist Fred Nelson. She then greeted The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, a happy birthday.

"I'm gonna sing what I felt the need to sing and I hope you enjoy it."

In the spirit of social distancing, Hudson told audiences, "Just so you know, me and Fred are six feet apart."

She then started with the first song in her improv set with "The Impossible Dream." The famous song composed by Mitch Leigh, and performed by legends from Frank Sinatra to Aretha Franklin, received a refreshing breath of life from Hudson's performance. The Idol alum was effortlessly belting the chorus' high notes from her seat, holding her fluffy Pomeranian "Dreamgirl" - named after her breakthrough movie.

"This is so improv," she commented in between lines of the classic song.

She continued with adlibs reminiscent of Franklin's performance during the Rosa Parks memorial service. After a short dramatic pause, she ended "The Impossible Dream" strong, high, and sustained.

The next song in the mini-concert was "All in Love is Fair," originally written by Stevie Wonder and performed by Barbara Streisand and Dionne Warwick. Hudson sings the first part in a more soulful approach close to Wonder's original recording, with more restraint compared to the other songs in this set.

The Voice coach then introduced her other pets to the audience before continuing with her song "Memory" from "Cats", the movie adaptation of an Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical. While the movie was critically panned, her performance was described by critics as "the best part" of the film.

In what must be the climax of the evening, J. Hud took everyone to church with her version of "Amazing Grace". Her powerful yet solemn rendition of the famous Christian hymn had her followers praising not only her vocals, but also Nelson's performance on the piano.

As reported earlier, Hudson first announced her performance on Instagram Live, in partnership with Global Citizen. Hudson's IG mini-concert is among efforts in the arts and music industries to help people confined to their homes as governments around the world impose community quarantine procedures.

Together with other artists like OneRepublic, H.E.R., and Anne-Marie, Jennifer Hudson's online performance is a part of a virtual campaign between Global Citizen and the World Health Organization (WHO) titled "Together at Home." It aims to help unite people during the global outbreak while encouraging contributions towards the health organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Jennifer Hudson began as a contestant on the third season of "American Idol." While she enjoyed stellar performances, she had her journey cut short and was dropped during the Top 7 episode. She would later find her breakthrough in the 2006 film adaptation of Broadway hit "Dreamgirls," opening the doors to more recording and on-screen opportunities.