While it was no doubt a thrilling experience to watch Hairspray Live! on Wednesday night, I think it's safe to say that many of us were waiting for Jennifer Hudson to sing her solo, "I Know Where I've Been." The song, unlike many of the others in Hairspray, is a decidedly more solemn, serious affair. Discussing the need for integration and the importance of social progress, "I Know Where I've Been" is a beautiful piece in the show and has often served as a showcase for the vocal stylings of whomever is playing Motormouth Maybelle. In the 2007 film adaptation, we had Queen Latifah present to belt it; on Wednesday, we were treated to the always stunning stylings of Hudson. Naturally, Twitter reacted accordingly (read: everyone totally lost it and now we're all wrecked).
Hudson is able to leave her listeners deeply touched whenever she sings; the emotions run even higher when Hudson is singing an intense ballad (do you remember her Oscar-winning Dreamgirls number?). This was precisely the case when Hudson took center stage to sing "I Know Where I've Been." She was somehow able to deliver the intense emotions that come with the nature of discussing the dark effects of segregation while somehow uplifting the spirits of everyone around her. Honestly, how does she do it? It was hard not to be left feeling very passionate about her performance. Some couldn't contain their reactions and, luckily for us, they took to Twitter to talk about it.
When She Sings, We Listen
I think it's a pretty good rule of thumb that whenever Jennifer Hudson deigns to allow us mere mortals to hear her sing, we must drop whatever we are doing because it is a very rarefied occasion.
Slaying Those Vocals
Just another day in the life of Jennifer Hudson. Slaying vocals and taking names, you know? The fact that she does it so effortlessly is wild.
Were You Ready, Fam?
But were you? Because I don't think I was expecting that to happen.
Are You Going To Fave Or Retweet?
At this point, it's such a tricky situation and I can't choose what to do. All I know is that whatever I say on social media will live on for time immemorial, so I gotta make this hot take a good one.
Just Take Everything I Have, Jennifer Hudson
My time, my life force, my everything. Take it all so that your voice can resonate within us all, Jennifer Hudson.
I Am Emotionally Spent & It Was Worth It
Everyone is feeling a lot of strong feelings right now and it's okay. That's the power of music.
She Brought The House Down, Plain & Simple
There's a reason Hudson is an Oscar winner and part of it comes down to those perfect pipes.
We Don't Deserve You, Jennifer Hudson
Who is this angelic unicorn? What did we do that she felt the need to grace us with her majesty?
Pass The Tissues Because The Feels Are Real
Does anyone have a few hundred extra Kleenex? I'm going to need those ASAP. Thanks.
Are You Crying? I'm Not Crying (Yes I Totally Am)
If you're cheeks weren't just a little bit damp after Hudson sang, then I think you might be a Westworld host.
A Simple Yet Effective Analysis
Well said, my friend. Very well said.
And now, if you don't mind, I need to go lie down and process the majesty that was this performance.