Among the perks of beingArista founder Clive Davis: Awards luncheons are held in your honor; you get to show up looking dashing with a royal blue handkerchief and uber-cool shades (indoors might I add); and you get to arrive with such arm candy as the lovely Jennifer Hudson (pictured), who sings two ballads at the luncheon as your thank-you.
More interesting than a local awards ceremony would have been dish about Hudson’s upcoming album, due this fall. Details about the album have remained under wraps, and it seems like her people want to keep it that way. Publicists whisked J-Hud away when they got within earshot of the word “album,” and we reporters were told to stick to questions about Thursday morning’s event. Right. (For the record, the occasion saw Davis named this year’s Music Visionary at a ceremonyhosted by the UJA-Federation of New York, which benefits impoverishedpeoples in New York’s Jewish communities.)
What we did gather about Hudson’s CD was that “it’s quite universal, it has something for everyone, it has a lot of soul, it definitely comes from the heart.” Uh, okay, that explains everything.
addCredit(“Jennifer Hudson: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage.com”)
But I can’t get down on someone with such an amazing voice. Shecertainly brought down the house with Barry Manilow’s “Weekend in NewEngland” (just as she did when she was on American Idol) and Whitney Houston’s”One Moment in Time.” Speaking of Whitney, if you’re curious aboutwhere the “crack-is-wack” chanteuse has gone, Davis said he’s back inthe studio with Houston. He didn’t divulge any details, but imagine thenumber of go-to-hell-Bobby ballads. Oh, the possibilities!
Others in attendance included Lyor Cohen (chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group), Today‘sTiki Barber, Oprah gal pal Gayle King and Fall Out Boy lead singerPatrick Stump. It may seem like a random assortment of attendees, butperhaps they all found their way there as Stump did. “I was in theneighborhood,” he explained.