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Hudson also recorded a song she co-wrote with Bill Grainer and Earl Powell called "Stand Up", which was available for preview on her fan website.The track was produced by Chicago natives Powell and Herman Little III, who also arranged the song.She was released from her five-year contract with Righteous Records so that she could appear on American Idol in 2004.Hudson auditioned for the third season of American Idol in Atlanta commenting that she had been singing on Disney Cruise Lines (aboard the Disney Wonder) for the past few months (as one of the Muses from Hercules); and contestant judge Randy Jackson said, "We're expecting more than a cruise ship performance from you." Hudson received the highest number of votes in the "Top 9" after her performance of Elton John's "Circle of Life" on April 6, 2004, but two weeks later was eliminated during the "Top 7" show after performing Barry Manilow's, "Weekend in New England." The bottom three consisting of three African-American women led to controversy.In September 2006, Hudson performed the song, "Over It," live on Fox Chicago Morning News.

The record was nominated for four Grammy Awards, winning the 2009 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.She also became the principal singer of The Color Purple musical album, which earned her the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.In October 2008, Hudson stepped out of the public eye for three months after her mother, brother, and nephew were killed in a shooting.Hudson was nominated for her performance in the film, but lost to Queen Latifah.The film also received eight nominations at the 2009 NAACP Image Awards, including a nomination for Hudson for her performance.In May 2010, the Los Angeles Times claimed Hudson to be the third greatest Idol contestant in the history of the show, placing behind season one winner Kelly Clarkson and season four winner Carrie Underwood.

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