Former “The Voice” coach and “American Idol” finalist Jennifer Hudson has been given the opportunity to perform at the White House at a special Juneteenth Concert to be held on Tuesday, June 13, 2023.
According to a press release by the White House, the concert will take place on the South Lawn ahead of the newest national holiday, which is the following Monday, June 19. President Biden signed the legislation establishing Juneteenth as a national holiday in 2021, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States in 1865. Despite President Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation two and a half years prior, it took years to take effect across the country. The first Juneteenth celebration happened one year later in Galveston, Texas, before spreading throughout the nation.
Jennifer Hudson is Among Many Famous Musicians Performing at the White House
Hudson is one of many stars who will be featured in the White House’s upcoming Juneteenth concert. Joining her on the day will be Broadway veterans including 6-time Tony Award winner (potentially 7-time winner by the concert pending the Sunday, June 11 ceremony’s results) Audra McDonald, as well as fellow Tony winner Patina Miller and Tony nominee Colman Domingo. Grammy winners Method Man, Ledisi, and Maverick City Music are also set to join, as well as actor and dancer Nicco Annan.
Filling out the setlist are marching bands and choirs from four HBCUs, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Hampton University Concert Choir, Morgan State University Marching Band – The Magnificent Marching Machine, and the Tennessee State University Marching Band – Aristocrat of Bands.
Jennifer Hudson Has Performed at the White House Before
This Juneteenth concert will not be the first time Hudson has performed at the White House, or for a sitting president, as the EGOT winner has developed a close relationship with President Obama during his time in the Oval Office. Hudson was invited in 2010 to perform “Someday We’ll all be Free” by Donny Hathaway during a “Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement” event. At this same event, Hudson shared the stage with Smokey Robinson to deliver a duet of The Impressions’ “People Get Ready”.
Hudson has also performed at her fair share of Kennedy Center Honors ceremonies, including in 2010 when she was helping pay tribute to honoree Oprah Winfrey by singing the song “I’m Here” from the musical adaptation of the book “The Color Purple” (which Winfrey produced when it first premiered on Broadway in 2005 after she starred in the 1985 movie adaptation, directed by Steven Spielberg). The performance earned her uproarious applause and a standing ovation from Winfrey, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, and Winfrey’s fellow honorees, including Paul McCartney.
Hudson and actress Kerry Washington reflected on one of Obama’s last White House parties as President on “The Jennifer Hudson Show” in 2022, where Washington, nursing at the time, had to find a quiet place to pump and stored her breast milk in a White House refrigerator, rather than leave the party early.
“In our defense, we had to stay because it was the last hoorah,” Hudson said of the party, which went late into the morning (though the two didn’t specify how early).