Jennifer Hudson: Hearing Brother's Voice Inspired Performance Comeback

12/30/2011 08:56 am ET | Updated Feb 29, 2012

Following the tragic murder of her mother, brother and nephew in October 2008, Jennifer Hudson took a sabbatical from the music industry to focus on her family and recovery. She made her emotional comeback to performing the Star Spangled Banner at the Superbowl in February 2009, and in a new interview with NBC's Dateline, Hudson says that it was inspired by hearing encouragement from her late family members.

"Well, I felt as though I had to. Again, just the same as I hear my mother's voice in my head, I can hear my brother's voice in my head. And he-- they, like, everybody, it's like, is she ever gonna sing again? Is she gonna-- you know?" Hudson told Lester Holt in an interview scheduled to air January 8th.

"And what was I gonna say to that-- I could hear him, like, 'Jennifer--' he would always say, 'Knock it off, Jenny,' if I was cryin' about somethin' or if I was upset, discouraged, mad, 'Jenny, knock it off.' That's what I hear in my head. And it's like, 'Okay, well, what they want me to do? I can either just sit here and mope around, or do what I know that would make them proud.' And that's what I did."

That same month, Hudson picked up two Grammy Awards.

Hudson discussed her comeback with Oprah last February, saying that she tries to imagine what her mother might say about her work as a barometer of her choices.

"I try to do everything to say, 'OK, will my mother like this? Will she be pleased? Will she be proud of that? How do I know she's happy and she's smiling down at me from heaven?'" Hudson told Oprah. "And that's what I try to go by and walk by."

Hudson's second album, "I Remember Me," debuted at number two on the Billboard Charts this past March.

The interview with Holt will air on Sunday, January 8 at 7pm/6pm Central, and she'll appear on the Today Show the next day.

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