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Jennifer Hudson Enters Top of the Charts with Debut Album

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New York, NY-- Academy Award-winning actress/singer

Jennifer Hudson

claims the No. 2 spot with her

eponymous debut album

on this week's Billboard Top 200 Albums and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, according to Nielsen SoundScan. With a total of 217,720 units sold, the chart-topping entry of

Jennifer Hudson

is the biggest first week for a debut R&B female since Fantasia's November 2004 debut album

Free Yourself

. The release of

Jennifer Hudson

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also marks the largest selling debut album for RCA Music Group this year.

Ushered into the "

Spotlight

" by the hit single of the same name, the September 30th release of Jennifer's debut album is the realization of her childhood dream of becoming a bona fide recording star - and the critics agree.

The New York Times

states: "Whether cooing her way through the midtempo 'Spotlight,' or singing a self-esteem anthem like 'Invisible,' she always builds to a wailing climax – the moment when she ceases being merely a skilled vocalist and becomes Jennifer Hudson, star." Billboard adds that Jennifer's "self-titled debut showcases a voice so big, with an interpretive talent so natural, that it seems to burst beyond the confines of the recording. All hail the new diva."

In 2004, television viewers got the chance to witness Hudson's musical journey as a contestant on the third season of American Idol. Two years later, she told the world that she wasn't going during her unforgettable portrayal as "Effie White" in Dreamgirls, and subsequently won 29 awards including the coveted Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.. Hudson continued her acting career in this past summer's hit film

Sex and the City

and will follow up with another role in the October 17th release of

The Secret Life of Bees

. Now with the chart-topping release of her stellar debut album, the multi-talented Jennifer Hudson has established that she's here to stay as she conquers the worlds of film and music.

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