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Hairspray Live!: Jennifer Hudson Sings 'I Know Where I've Been' — Grade It!

TVLine logo TVLine 12/8/2016 Rebecca Iannucci
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With just a few weeks left in 2016, we’ve finally found the year’s most perfect casting: Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle.

During NBC’s Hairspray Live! on Wednesday night, the American Idol grad showcased her powerful pipes (and a fabulous blonde wig) for the role of Baltimore’s resident record store owner.

Hudson’s big moment? A rousing rendition of “I Know Where I’ve Been,” the stirring gospel song performed during Maybelle & Co.’s fight for racial equality. 

Hairspray might be known for high-energy numbers like “You Can’t Stop the Beat” and “Nicest Kids in Town,” but Hudson’s big moment — a particularly timely one, at that — will likely be the one you’re still talking about tomorrow. (Those key changes, people!)

Of course, Hairspray Live! ain’t Hudson’s first musical theater rodeo: In addition to winning an Oscar for the film version of Dreamgirls in 2007, she made her Broadway debut in 2015 as Shug Avery in the Color Purple revival.

Watch Hudson’s performance above, then grade “I Know Where I’ve Been” below and drop a comment with your thoughts on the overall production.

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