Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hudson Giver

Jennifer Hudson is a Grammy-winning singer, Oscar-winning actress, and bestselling author — and still has time to share her talents for a powerful cause.

BY KIMBERLY BAILEY-TUREAUD
Photos by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Jennifer Hudson is a Grammy-winning singer, Oscar-winning actress, and bestselling author — and still has time to share her talents for a powerful cause.

There are causes so powerful — so full of potential — that they unite people from all over the world. The work of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is one of those extraordinary causes, and the guest list for Keep Memory Alive’s 21st Annual Power of Love Gala was evidence of how widely that work has resonated: VIPs spotted at the MGM Grand Garden Arena included Jon Bon Jovi, Wolfgang Puck, Kenneth Babyface Edmonds, and Steve Wynn.

But the spotlight that night fell squarely on one Alister who’s already halfway to EGOT status: Jennifer Hudson, who dazzled the crowd with her incomparable voice on a night when Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, was honored for his philanthropic generosity; and tennis legend Andre Agassi was lauded for his extraordinary and historic contributions to the community.

Hudson said she was thrilled to help raise funds for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which provides state-of-the-art care for cognitive disorders and for the family members of those who suffer from them. The physicians and staff at the Center for Brain Health work tirelessly toward the development of early diagnosis and the advancement of knowledge concerning mild cognitive disorders, which could one day delay or prevent their onset. Keep Memory Alive, whose mission is to provide enhanced treatment and ultimately cures for patients and their families suffering from neurocognitive disorders, raises awareness and funds in support of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. By supporting Keep Memory Alive and its fight against neurodegenerative diseases such as: Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, frontotemporal dementia, multiple sclerosis and multiple system atrophy, can ensure progress towards better treatments and ultimately cures that may be discovered in Las Vegas.

Jennifer Hudson

When she isn’t lending her talents to an extraordinary cause, Hudson is staying busy with her career: the woman who shot to fame on “American Idol” will soon replace Alicia Keys on NBC’s “The Voice.” The 35-year-old served as a judge on the UK edition of “The Voice” earlier this year and recently posted this on Instagram: “In tears thinking of what this means and represents to me and knowing and walking the journey. Wow, who would have thought after being a contestant, that one day, I would be sitting in one of those chairs for the U.K. to the U.S. Only God!!! Oh, but I made it.”

Reflecting on the role in “Dreamgirls” that won her an Academy Award, Hudson said she was determined to land it: “I never gave up hope of playing Effie. They’d talk to me and then look at other people and then come back to me… but I always had the faith. I had to separate myself from the process and not think about it too much or I would have gone crazy. I just tried to live in the moment and be natural, as if there were no cameras there. Maybe it’s because I felt like singing and acting are related. When you’re singing you have to sell it. You act out that song; you have to know the meaning and purpose of it. I let that guide me.”

Hudson has maintained her focus during the journey to superstardom, and — as the mother of a son, and the fianceé of attorney David Otunga — she lives a fulfilled, faithful life.

“My faith is very important and treasured,” she said. “My family would often say, ‘If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it.’ There would be no point in faith if it wasn’t tested. My mother always told me no matter how negative your life seems to be, you must always look for a positive. That is what I believe a woman of faith should do.”

Andre Agassi accepts an award presented by Larry Ruvo.

Keep Memory Alive Co-Founder and Chairman Larry Ruvo and Steve Wynn.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman and husband Oscar Goodman.

Keep Memory Alive Co-Founder and Vice-Chairwoman Camille Ruvo and Jennifer Hudson.

Kenneth Babyface Edmonds

Retired NFL player Napoleon McCallum.

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