Jennifer Hudson Is Doing Fine, but Fans Worry Nonetheless

By DeNeen L. Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 6, 2009

Jennifer Hudson is always telling her fans not to worry about her.

And yet there stand Hudson fans (and sisters) Nadine Jackson, Jackie Middleton and Frederica Robinson, waiting outside Constitution Hall at 18th and C streets NW. Concerned.

"If she breaks down onstage tonight, I don't think there will be a dry eye in the place," says Middleton, a retired government worker from Clinton.

"Every time I see her, I cry," says Jackson, a housekeeper from Northeast Washington. "I love me some Jennifer Hudson."

"I'm happy she came back," says Robinson, a chef from Upper Marlboro. "I'm glad she's not isolated anymore. Just being isolated would do something to her. Might have taken her longer to come back. Coming back put her in touch with her fans."

Hundreds of fans lined up outside the hall last night, waiting to see the Grammy winner and Oscar winner. Waiting to find out just how she is doing after the fatal shootings in October of her mother, brother and nephew. God bless her heart, they say. Who could survive that?

But she is back. Singing her heart out. Fighting back tears at recent performances, not wanting to smear her stage makeup. Laughing on Ellen DeGeneres's show. Getting ready to get married. Designing her own wedding dress. Worried just as much about her fans as they are about her, saying in recent interviews that she does not like to see her fans cry.

"I'm hoping when she starts singing her songs, she doesn't burst out in tears," says another fan, Delores Little, who says she doesn't come out to concerts for just anybody. "Inside, she still has to be raw. Death is a hurting thing."

"We brought tissue just for that," says her sister, Donna Peterson.

Hudson opened the show last night to a standing ovation. Even before the black curtains opened, she was singing. When they parted, there was Hudson, in black tights and black dress with jacket, on a mock staircase. People ran toward the stage.

As she sang, "It seems like I'm dying . . . like you can see straight through me. . . . So tired of being confined," men at the edge of the stage reached toward her.

She told the crowd: "Sometimes this feels like my home town. I used to come here before anybody knew I was Jennifer Hudson."

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