Street musician gets a surprise guest star: Jennifer Hudson

Great careers in music always have modest beginnings. Alex Guthrie, a musician who lives in Atlanta, dreamed of being heard by millions but for the time being was getting his start by busking. One fine day when he was singing in a park, he got the shock of his life: Jennifer Hudson — THE Jennifer Hudson — joined him for an impromptu duet.

Jennifer Hudson was born and raised in Chicago. She got a start in music early in life, making her first appearance in her church choir at age 7. When she was all of 21, Hudson signed her first recording contract with a local independent label. Just two years later, she was a contestant on reality TV talent show “American Idol.” Although she didn’t win the competition, she made a name for herself. Hudson also has some serious acting talent and it was her Oscar-winning role in the 2006 movie “Dreamgirls” that represented her true breakthrough. She’s since had a dual career, as a recording artist and also an actress in movies and on the stage.

Hudson’s appearance at the Atlanta busker’s side wasn’t mere coincidence. She was joining forces with American Family Insurance as part of its “Dream Fearlessly” program, designed to give aspiring performers encouragement and inspiration.

To the amazement of slack-jawed or smiling passersby, Hudson joined Guthrie for a duet version of “Lovely Day,” a 1977 a song written by rhythm-and-blues singer Bill Withers and Skip Scarborough. A crowd quickly gathered to see the incredible performance. And speaking of incredible, you should hear Hudson’s voice: even outdoors, she had no need for Guthrie’s microphone. There’s little doubt he got some serious encouragement and inspiration from his surprise guest!

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