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Spotlight Shines On Jennifer Hudson

Sep. 30 2008, Published 2:00 p.m. ET

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Jennifer Hudson may already have her Oscar, but she has been waiting for this day ever since she signed up for American Idol in 2003. It’s the day her self-titled debut album hits stores!

“It’s definitely my baby,” she tells me. “This is the moment I’ve been waiting for and it’s finally coming. Through all of this I want to take a moment to say ‘wow, look at what’s happened.’ It’s finally here.”

It’s a big time for the Chicago native, 27, who announced her engagement to David Otunga earlier this month. She ended her relationship with boyfriend of eight years James Peyton in 2007.

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What qualities does she look for in her other half?

“A guy who believes in me. For me, if you love my music, then that means you love me. I am music, and music is me.”

Jennifer strives to maintain her curves as she racks up movie roles in the Sex And The City Movie and forthcoming adventure drama Secret Life of Bees.

“It’s hard to exercise, but we barely ever have time to sit down,” she laughs. “Moving around a lot is enough exercise, so I eat right. I eat as best as I can to maintain my thickness. I don’t want to be too thin, so it’s OK not to work out every once in awhile if you want to maintain this. Normally I eat a little trail mix in the morning, and a salad at lunch, and chicken and vegetables for dinner.”

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She adds, “What I cannot fight is chocolate chip cookies. It always wins.”

One thing that hasn’t changed is her love for American Idol. “I can’t wait! I’m like ‘my God, Idol’s coming on, am I going to be able to watch it?’ When I was able to, it was like a big Idol night party or something. I have to see Idol!”

How would she sum up her remarkable ride?

“I’m lucky. I’m trying to enjoy every living moment.”

Jennifer Hudson’s self-titled debut is in stores now.

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