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Published: Thursday, 9/29/2011

Jennifer Hudson opens weight loss center

BLADE NEWS SERVICES
Chicago Alderman Will Burns, left, Grammy and Oscar-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, Dave Burwick, President, Weight Watchers North America, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel take part in a ribbon cutting at the opening of "The Weight Watchers Jennifer Hudson Center,"  Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011, in Chicago. Chicago Alderman Will Burns, left, Grammy and Oscar-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, Dave Burwick, President, Weight Watchers North America, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel take part in a ribbon cutting at the opening of "The Weight Watchers Jennifer Hudson Center," Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011, in Chicago.
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Jennifer Hudson's name has graced an Oscar and Grammy, but the Chicago native said she never imagined her name would be on a weight loss center that she could use to inspire others.

The singer and actress stopped in her home town Tuesday for the opening of "The Weight Watchers Jennifer Hudson Center." Hudson, who lost about 80 pounds, is a spokeswoman for the company.

"I never thought I would make it to have my own center," said Hudson. "I'm so honored to be here and see this day."

Weight Watchers had pledged to donate a portion of the center's revenue to a foundation that Hudson co-founded in honor of her late nephew, Julian King.

The body of the 7-year-old was found in a vehicle a few days after Hudson's mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson, and brother, Jason Hudson, were found dead in the family's Chicago home in October 2008. All three had been shot. The estranged husband of Hudson's sister is charged in the killings and is awaiting trial.

Hudson, who first earned fame as an American Idol finalist, won a Grammy for her self-titled album and an Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls. Her album "I Remember Me," came out this year.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who attended the ribbon-cutting, called Hudson "Chicago's ambassador to the world at large."

Timberlake to receive environmental honor

Justin Timberlake has been lauded for his work in music, TV and film. Now he's about to get an accolade for trying to better the environment.

The Environmental Media Association says Timberlake will receive its Futures Award, which represents future environmental leaders in entertainment.

The group cited Timberlake's attempts to reduce his carbon footprint during his tours, his advocacy for environmental issues and his eco-friendly golf course outside of Memphis, Tenn.

EMA President Debbie Levin called Timberlake "a great example of how you can lend your voice for positive change."

Others who have received the award include Edward Norton, Rosario Dawson and Maroon 5.

The Environmental Media Awards will be held Oct. 15 in Burbank, Calif.



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