Jennifer Hudson is sheer proof that you don't need to win a singing contest to become a star. Taking seventh place in the third season of 'American Idol,' Hudson didn't stop fighting for the career of her dreams. Soon after the show, she was casted to play Effie White in the film remake of 'Dreamgirls,' which not only became a smash hit at the box office but also won the songstress an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2007. She also had the opportunity to play Carrie Bradshaw's assistant in the iconic show-turned-movie, 'Sex and the City.'

She released two albums -- 2008's 'Jennifer Hudson' and 2011's 'I Remember Me.' Both peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. Her self-titled debut won a Grammy for Best R&B Album in 2009.

Music and acting aside, Hudson became the spokesperson for Weight Watchers in 2010. She has appeared in a number of episodes on 'Smash' and acted alongside fellow Academy Award winner Octavia Paz in the Lifetime movie, 'Call Me Crazy: A Five Film.'

Hudson was honored with the Recording Artists Coalition Award in April.