Singer/actress Jennifer Hudson fought back tears while speaking about her late mother as she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Wednesday.
The Oscar winner was surrounded by family and friends when she unveiled the 2,512th star on the iconic Los Angeles sidewalk, but Hudson pointed out that there was one person she wanted by her side for the special moment – her late mum Darnell Donnerson.
Welling up during her acceptance speech, Hudson said, “I knew I would get emotional and I’m sure my mom is in heaven like ‘Jenny stop crying’ but now’s the time to cry mama, it is. This is an amazing honor as we all know and I did not see this coming. I’m so honored to be here with so many that I love and I feel as though we’re all a family.”
Donnerson, along with Hudson’s nephew and brother, was shot dead by her sister’s estranged husband William Balfour in 2008.
During the ceremony, music executive Clive Davis, was also on hand to praise the former American Idol contestant.
He recalled, “I didn’t sign her to a recording contract at the very beginning, but when I saw her, I saw her screen test for “Dreamgirls,” I knew that she was truly a unique original artist whose career would be nothing short of spectacular so I did sign her, then I was stunned by her acting range, she was the real deal… and that voice.
“I had been privileged over the years to work with two of the greatest voices of all time: Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. I never thought I’d hear another voice to compare and yet staring me in the face was a new voice that did compare. It literally sent shivers up my spine.”
Hudson was also joined by her fiance, David Otunga, their four-year-old son David Daniel Otunga, Jr., R&B star Raphael Saadiq and songwriter Diane Warren at the ceremony.