Getty photo

Getty photo

Jennifer Hudson is safely home in Florida today, awaiting the birth of her child.

But Jennifer risked a lot to be in Michael Jackson’s memorial service. The Oscar-winning ex-American Idol contestant flew back and forth across the country even though she’s in her ninth month. She’s due to give birth in the next four weeks.

But Hudson felt it was necessary to express her sympathy to Jackson’s family and friends. Her performance of “Will You Be There” — a song from Jackson’s “Dangerous” album that was used in the movie “Free Willy” — was mesmerizing. Coupled with her February performance at the MusiCares concert for Neil Diamond of “Holly Holy,” this song could hint at a direction for Hudson: gospel tinged soul. No one in her generation does it better.

This summer, while she waits for the birth, Hudson will be going through songs for her second solo album. She’ll have some downtime from touring and recording once the baby is born — and she can announce that she was, indeed, pregnant and not just large from too much pasta!

Hudson did prove herself to be a trouper. She says she was nervous when she took the stage at the Staples Center. “There was so much emotion in the room,” she says. But she handled it like a pro, turning in one hell of a performance that no one will ever forget.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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