Ulices Ramales / BACKGRID

Jennifer Hudson said her father had 27 children and she dreamed of meeting all of them at age 16.

“It was my dream to have all of us at this grand Thanksgiving or Christmas table, and we all sit and eat together — that was my goal at 16,” Hudson said.

The talk show host opened up about her father on the “Your Mama’s Kitchen: Conversations from the Heart of the Home” podcast.

“Your father had a big personality,” host Michele Norris said. “And you went with your siblings and went and found him at some point and found that you had a lot more siblings?”

“Yes, a lot of us. Apparently he had 27 children,” Hudson said.

Ulices Ramales / BACKGRID

Hudson, 42, eventually met six or seven of her half-siblings with the help of her father’s family.

“We found quite a few of us,” she said, adding, “And I’m the youngest of all of them.”


The Chicago native is the youngest child of Samuel Simpson, a Greyhound bus driver. Her single mother, Darnell Donerson, raised Hudson and her sister, Julia, and brother, Jason.

Her father was absent throughout her childhood. With her mother’s blessing, Hudson went looking for him at age 16. That’s when she learned about her half-siblings.

“When my grandma on his side passed, my siblings over there were like, ‘Y’all got a sister that can really sing, you should meet her,'” she revealed. “And eventually we all came together.”